Nurse Shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum)

Nurse sharks are usually found at the bottom of subtropical waters and coral reefs. They can be found as deep as 60 to 75 feet. They live off the coasts of tropical regions in shallower waters. They are bottom dwellers which means that they are found on the sea floor where they do not move. It is also known that they move to shallower waters at night.

The nurse shark has barbells, which are fleshy appendages which hang below their nostrils to help them feel along the bottom of the floor which helps in hunting. Also the nurse shark differs from other sharks in that it does not require the constant movement of water over its gills to receive oxygen. The nurse shark is able to pump water over its gills by opening and closing its mouth continuously. Sharks are entirely made up of cartilage and have no bones, this means that it is an invertebrate, meaning that it does not have a backbone. Sharks have an incredible sense of smell and vision which aid in detecting and catching prey.

A female shark will give birth to a clutch size of around 28 eggs. The eggs will be left to hatch and learn the skills needed to survive all on their own. When a nurse shark is about 225 to 230 cm they are sexually mature and ready to reproduce.

Nurse sharks are carnivores and feed on fish found in coral reefs. They will stay perfectly motionless until prey swims by in which they will attack quickly and unforgivingly. Nurse sharks are predators of the ocean and are not prey to other sharks. They must compete with other predators for food however, such as hammerheads or tiger sharks.

Body Length 0.76 - 1.02 metres
Tail Length N/A
Wingspan N/A
Life Span 25.00 years
Weight 110.22 kilograms