Nurse Shark

Scientific Name: Ginglymostoma cirratum

Nurse Shark

A nurse shark rests on the ocean floor. By Duncan Wright
Image Source

Nurse sharks are fish that grow up to ten feet long. They live in parts of the ocean where the water is warm for most of the year. Nurse sharks prefer habitats, or areas, where the water is not deep and the bottom is made up of sand. They also live around coral reefs and near mangrove trees.

Nurse sharks are nocturnal, which means they are active at night and rest during the day. During active periods, nurse sharks swim along the ocean floor and look for fishes, clams, stingrays, octopuses, and other small animals that they eat. When they are resting, nurse sharks sometimes take shelter in a cave. At other times they rest in the open on the ocean floor.

Additional Images:

Nurse Shark Map

The blue parts of this map are areas in the world where nurse sharks live. By Chris Huh

Nurse Shark

Nurse sharks rest in caves when they are not out hunting. By Pepe Cirotti
Image Source

Additional Links:

http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/gallery/descript/nurseshark/nurseshark.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nurse_shark

References

Please see the links listed above and the following books:

Bauman, Amy and Patricia Corrigan. The Wonder of Sharks. Milwaukee, WI: Garreth Stevens Publishing, 2000.

Kells, Val and Kent Carpenter. A Field Guide to Coastal Fishes: From Maine to Texas. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press, 2011. Pp. 62-63.

 

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