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Nurse Shark


The Nurse Shark is also known as tiburon gato or cat-shark.

Nurse Shark




Scientific name...........Ginglymostoma Cirratum

Family name..............


  • 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: Nurse Sharks 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 Pacific Ocean.


  • Life Span: Undetermined.


  • 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.

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