Common Name: Nurse Shark

Scientific Name: Ginglymostoma cirratum

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Chondrichthyes

Order: Orectolobiformes

Family: Ginglymostomatidae

Genus: Ginglymostoma

Species: G. cirratum

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Nurse Sharks are commonly introduced as inshore bottom-dwelling sharks, they have been found in tropical and subtropical waters.found in the warm, shallow waters of the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans. Behavior: Nurse Sharks happen to be nocturnal animals. They spend the day in large groups of up to 40 individuals.  Nurse sharks prefer specific resting sights, they will return to them after a day of hunting.

 

They use their strong jaws to crush and eat shellfish and even coral but do prefer to dine on fish, shrimp, and squid. Reproduction: there mating seasons run from late June to the end of July. Nurse Sharks happen to be ovoviviparous, and if you don't know what that means it's when the eggs develop and hatch within the body of the female Nurse shark. The gestation period is six months, with a typical litter of 21 - 28 pups. When the nurse shark pups are born they are fully developed , they are 30cm long. Color / skin : Nurse sharks skin is very tough and is prized for leather. when born they have a spotted coloration which fades with age.

 

Nurse sharks are light yellowish brown to dark brown, with or without small dark spots. They are gray-brown and have distinctive tail fins that can be up to one-fourth their total length. Unlike most other sharks, nurse sharks are very smooth. Nurse Sharks are not widely commercially fished, but with its sluggish kind of behavior, it is an easy target. Nurse sharks have attacked very few humans that way it is not presumed as a threat. most can get up to 14 feet long, that way it is to large to be kept in an home aquaria.

 

Author: Tony M

Published: 02/2009

 

sources: http://www.aqua.org/animals_nurseshark.html http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/nurse-shark.html http://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/whats_in_a_name/default.cfm?id=31 http://marinebio.org/species.asp?id=91 http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Nurse_sharks