Nurse shark Facts

Nurse shark Facts
Nurse shark is large species of shark that belongs to the Ginglymostomatidae family. It can be found in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Western and Eastern Atlantic and Eastern Pacific ocean. Nurse shark is bottom-dweller that spends its life in the shallow waters near the coral reefs, on the sand flats and around the mangrove islands. It is not popular among sport fishermen, but it is often fished as a source of oil (extracted from the liver) and for the manufacture of leather. Despite these factors, nurse shark is still numerous and widespread in the wild.
Interesting Nurse shark Facts:
Nurse shark can reach 7.5 to 14 feet in length and 200 to 330 pounds of weight.
Nurse shark has grey-brown skin that is, atypical for sharks, smooth.
Nurse shark has broad head with small mouth and prominent barbels, round dorsal and pectoral fins and very long tail fin (1/4 of the body length).
Nurse shark has strong jaws filled with thousands of small, serrated teeth.
Scientific name of nurse shark is "Ginglymostoma cirratum". Name means "curled, hinged mouth" and it refers to the puckered appearance of this shark. Name "nurse shark" potentially refers to the suckling sound which nurse shark produces while it collects food from the water, or more likely - it was derived from the word "hurse", Old English word for sea-floor shark.
Nurse shark is active during the night (nocturnal animal). It rests during the day in large groups of around 40 sharks.
Nurse shark is a carnivore. Its diet is based on the small fish, lobsters, crabs, sea urchins, squids, snails and bivalve.
Nurse shark moves slowly, sluggishly and hunts alone. It ingests the prey by sucking it from the water. This is followed by unique slurping sound.
Nurse shark creates false shelter for crustaceans by using its own body (supported by fins). Once they enter the trap, nurse shark easily collects and eats them.
Nurse shark is docile by nature, but it will bite when it is provoked.
Nurse shark doesn't migrate toward the warmer waters during the winter. It tolerates changes in the water temperature by decreasing its own activity.
Unlike most species of shark, nurse shark can breathe even when it lays motionless on the sea floor by actively pumping water from the mouth to the gills.
Nurse shark is ovoviviparous species (eggs develop inside the female's body). Female gives birth to 21 to 28 babies (pups) after pregnancy of 6 months. Babies are usually born during the June and July. They are 12 inches long at birth and covered with light-colored spots. Female is ready to reproduce once again after a pause of 18 months.
Nurse shark reaches sexual maturity at the age of 15 to 20 years.
Nurse shark has an average lifespan of 25 years.

Related Links:
Animal Facts
Animals Facts
Tiger shark Facts
Black tip shark Facts
Great White Shark Facts
Facts: History and Science Facts for Kids
Killer Whale Facts