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Nurse Shark

Nurse Shark

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The nurse shark is a common coastal bottom-dwelling shark. It is most commonly found in the tropical and subtropical waters around the continental shelves, i.e. waters around Central America, although natural habitat of the nurse shark ranges between the North USA to Brazil. They are even found on the East Coast of Africa. The nurse shark is also found around the Caribbean Islands and from the southern California to Peru on the American west coast. You can spot it at the depths of one meter or less; however, they can venture down to depths of 12 metres. Their common habitats are reefs, channels between mangrove islands, sand flats and other places where food is found in abundance.

They are nocturnal animals; hence, generally inactive during the day. They can be found together in groups of up to 40 nurse shark individuals. Despite of group movement, the nurse shark is a solitary hunter and will spend the dark nights hunting alone.

They appear to have resting spots (crevices in rocks and reefs) to which they return daily rather than just resting anywhere. Nurse sharks commonly habitat reefs, channels between mangrove islands and sand flats, where food is in abundance.

Nurse Shark

They prey on fish, shrimp, sea urchins, and occasionally on octopus and stingrays.

With many other species of shark, the fast reactions of the nurse shark indicate that it is easily able to have a meal.

Its mating season is in early summer, and it retains their eggs inside them, until they hatch and are fully developed.

Their gestation period is approximately 6 months, when the female nurse shark will give birth to between 28 and 25 nurse sharks babies.

What are the shark babies known as? Pups

When the pups are born, they tend to be around 30 cm long. The darker skin of the baby nurse sharks tends to fade quickly as they age. Nurse sharks are known to be one of the more sluggish and docile sharks of the different species of shark due to which they are hunted for their tough and leathery skin and meat. They tend to live to around 25 years of age and by then, they become often over 4 m in length.

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