The Nurse Shark is also known as tiburon
gato or cat-shark.
Scientific name...........Ginglymostoma Cirratum
- General Information: The Nurse Shark is a sluggish
bottom dweller, that is rarely aggressive unless provoked. It
has a stout body, obvious barbels, and strong jaws. Behind each
eye it has a spiracle, a special organ that takes in water for
breathing when the shark is at rest on the ocean bottom. It is
a nocturnal hunter and often rests during the day. This is one
shark that does well in captivity.
- Size: These sharks are 2-13 feet in length.
- Teeth: The nurse shark has thousands of replaceable,
fan-shaped serrated teeth, that are capable of crushing shellfish.
- Color: The nurse shark is generally a dark
brown-grey. some have speckles.
- Feeding Habits: Nurse Sharks eat bottom dwelling
creatures like fish, shrimp, squid, octopus, lobsters and sea
urchins. The barbels help them locate food at night, as they are
vey sensitive to touch.
- Senses: The barbels on the snout are very sensitive
to touch, and help this shark suck out food in the dark.
- Social Behaviour: Nurse Sharks gather in schools.
Sluggish, they often rest during the day, sometimes piled on top
of each other on the ocean bottom.
- Habitat | Migration | Distribution:
live in warm, shallow waters to a depth of about 70 feet. They
are common in corral reefs, and near mudflats and sand-bars. Nurse
Sharks can be found in the western Atlantic Ocean and the eastern
- Reproduction: Nurse Sharks are aplacental vivaparous
breeders. In aplacental viviparity, the eggs develop inside the
body after internal fertilization and hatch within the body of
the mother. Litters consist of 20-30 pups that are tiny replicas
of the adult.
Nurse Sharks mature at 15-20 years old.
- Swimming: Slow and lumbering swimmers most
of the time, but can dart away when startled.
- Population Report: This shark is not endangered.