Nurse Shark

Where in the world?

Tropical and subtropical coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean and western Pacific Oceans.


Animal Facts:

Reaching up to 10 feet in length, Nurse Sharks are large, nocturnal, bottom-dwelling sharks that often live near rocky or coral patch reefs.

Nurse Sharks suck up their prey off the seafloor or out of crevices.  By quickly expanding its throat, a Nurse Shark can create some of the most powerful suction measured from an animal, but only within an inch of its mouth!

Some sharks must move forward in order to breathe, but Nurse Sharks can actively pump water over their gills.  During the day they rest on the seafloor, sometimes congregating with others and even piling on top of each other.

Did you know?

Sharks and rays have scales called dermal denticles, which are just like teeth, with pulp, blood vessels and dentine.  They feel rough when rubbed the wrong way, but are structured to reduce drag in water.

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Posted on

November 9, 2018