Nurse Shark

Nurse Shark Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Ginglymostoma cirratum
Nurse Shark Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, Black, White
20-25 years
Top speed
25 mph
90-150kg (198-330lbs)
Nurse Shark Distribition

“Nurse sharks have smoother skin than many sharks. It seems like sandpaper.”

Often called the lazy-bones of the sea, nurse sharks are big, serene fish that gradually wander along all-time low of the sea in superficial water, gobbling food as they go. They search alone in the evening however go back to the very same comfy relaxing location throughout the day where they take pleasure in sleeping in heaps. Although their environment is together with humans, these fish are hardly ever hazardous; they will just attack if stunned or prompted. These mild sharks are fairly comfy in zoo fish tanks and can measure up to 25 years in bondage.

5 Nurse Shark realities

  • Unlike numerous various other shark species that should swim whatsoever times to take a breath, the nurse shark makes use of the buccal pumping approach to take a breath They utilize their dental muscle mass to draw water right into their mouths to oxygenate their gills, enabling them to remain still and also rest.
  • These sharks do not position any type of hazard to humans unless they are disrupted. Actually, numerous individuals swim right by these sharks without ever before recognizing they existed.
  • When an institution of nurse sharks locates a comfy relaxing location, they return there daily after searching instead of moving like numerous various other fish species.
  • They utilize their pectoral fin to ” stroll” throughout the sea flooring, and females will certainly in some cases hide their pectoral fins in the sand to prevent the breeding advancements of males.
  • As opposed to chasing their victim and capturing it in a flurry of munching teeth like various other sharks, this species swims simply over the sea flooring and gobble their food like a hoover After drawing their food right into their mouths, they make use of rows of serrated teeth to squash up their food prior to ingesting.

Find out more extraordinary Nurse shark realities right here.

Nurse Shark Scientific name

The nurse shark remains in the Ginglymostomatidae family and the Chondrichthyes class. Its scientific name, Ginglymostoma cirratum, is a mix of Greek and Latin and suggests “crinkled, pivoted mouth.” This name is instead suitable since this shark constantly appears like he’s kissing. Given that this species of shark favors to remain near the sea flooring, numerous researchers think its name originated from the Old English word “hurse,” which suggests sea- flooring shark.

Nurse Shark Appearance

The nurse shark has a broad body and a brief nose with a little, rectangle-shaped mouth. They have 2 sensory body organs called barbels that expand below their top lip. These barbels aid them discover little fish and crabs concealing in the sand.

This species of sharks look a bit various than much of their even more unsafe relatives. Their thick skin is smoother than many various other sharks, and their dorsal fin is rounded instead of the popular sharp dorsal fin that is typically connected with various other species. Their shade establishes them in addition to the others also– they are tawny brownish instead of grey.

These sharks expand to around 7.5 to 9 feet long and consider in between 150 and 300 extra pounds. The biggest nurse shark on document to day is 14 feet long, which is greater than 2 times longer than the ordinary guy is high. Unlike even more unsafe shark species, their dorsal fins are rounded instead of sharp. They likewise have lengthy tails, which can comprise regarding a quarter of their complete size.

Nurse shark
Nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum)Gary Rinaldi/ Creative Commons

Nurse Shark Habits

The nurse shark is a singular, nighttime seeker, however if you see one throughout the day, it will possibly be relaxing in a stack of various other in a similar way sized sharks. These sharks do not move; when they end up searching for the evening, they will certainly go back to their preferred cavern or reef to remainder.

Nurse Shark Environment

Nurse sharks like cozy, superficial water and can be discovered all throughout the eastern component of the Pacific Sea and the western component of the Atlantic Sea. They stay in close distance to human task and, while they are not normally hostile, can attack in self- protection if humans elbow in on their area.

Nurse Shark Population

There’s no document of the nurse shark population worldwide, though their numbers have actually been decreased in specific locations as a result of previous overfishing for their skin and oil. Given that humans no more consistently search these sharks, the species overall is prospering and no place near termination.

Nurse Shark Diet

A nurse shark’s mouth has rows of little, serrated teeth that are made to squash tough- shelled shellfishes and snails. Tiny fish, shellfish, shrimp and squid are a few of the nurse shark’s preferred foods, though they will certainly likewise eat algae and coral every now and then. Given that they search in the evening, it is thought that they eat fish that are relaxing, making those fish sluggish adequate to be very easy victim.

For a full listing of nurse shark victim, see our ‘‘ What do Nurse Sharks Eat ‘ post that enters- deepness on their diet regimens.

Nurse Shark Predators and Risks

The nurse shark isn’t pursued on a regular basis by any type of certain predators, however it can make a very easy dish for bigger fish such as tiger sharks or lemon sharks. This species of shark is not an intimidated or endangered species.

Nurse Shark Reproduction, Infants and Life Expectancy

When a nurse shark wishes to mate, the male will certainly attack the female’s pectoral fin to hold her in position for the breeding procedure. Research studies have actually revealed that this species is distinct in its reproductive procedure contrasted to various other sharks since greater than one male can feed the very same trash.

This species of sharks is ovoviviparous, suggesting that the female brings the fed eggs inside her to breed. When the 6- month incubation duration concerns an end, she brings to life a clutter of regarding 25 real-time puppies. These puppies are about 8- 12 inches in size when they are birthed. After delivering, it takes the female 18 months to generate eggs and experience the reproductive cycle once again.

Nurse Sharks in Zoos

Nurse sharks succeed in bondage, perhaps since they are much less energetic than various other shark species. Given that they do not require to remain swimming to take a breath, they are much less troubled by smaller sized home than their a lot more energetic relatives. The ordinary life-span for a nurse shark in bondage depends on 25 years.

You can discover them at Factor Defiance Zoo & & Fish Tank in Tacoma, Washington; Omaha’s Henry Doorly’s Zoo & & Fish Tank in Omaha, Nebraska; and the National Fish Tank in Baltimore, Maryland to call simply a couple of.



  1. Mark Mancini for Mental Floss, Available here:
  2. Aquaviews, Available here:
  3. How Stuff Works, Available here:
  4. Wikipedia, Available here:

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