Nurse Shark

Nurse Shark Introduction

The Nurse Shark is a common coastal bottom-dwelling shark, found in tropical and subtropical waters around the continental shelves. The Nurse is frequently found at depths of one meter or less, but it is not uncommon for Nurse Sharks to venture down to depths of 12 metres.

Nurse commonly habitat reefs, channels between mangrove islands and sand flats, where food is in abundance. The Nurse Shark preys on fish, shrimp, sea urchins, the occasional octopus and stingrays, and as with many other species of shark, the fast reactions and stealthy approach of the Nurse Shark means that the shark is easily able to have a meal.

Nurse Sharks are nocturnal animals and are generally inactive during the day. It is in these hours of daylight that Nurse Sharks can be found together in groups of up to 40 individuals. Despite this, the Nurse Shark is a solitary hunter and will spend the dark nights hunting alone.

The Nurse Shark mating season is in early summer. Female Nurse Shark will retain their eggs inside them until they hatch and are fully developed, before a live birth then occurs.

The Nurse Sharks gestation period is approximately 6 months, when the female will give birth to between 28 and 25 babies, known as pups.

Keywords to learn

Venture: A risky or daring journey or undertaking.

Ovoviviparous: producing young by means of eggs which are hatched within the body of the parent, as in some snakes.


About Me

Hey Kids, my name is Nathan the Nurse Shark and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species @ www.kids.nationalgeographic.com

Key Nurse Shark Data

  • Order:
    Orectolobiformes.
  • Lifespan:
    20-25 years.
  • Class:
    Chondrichthyes.
  • Scientific Name:
    Ginglymostoma Cirratum.
  • Mass:
    90-150kg (198-330 pounds).
  • Length:
    2.5-4.3metres (8-14 feet)
  • Region found:
    The North USA to Brazil and Nurse Sharks are even found on the East Coast of Africa.
  • Population Status:
    Data deficient.
  • Current population trend:
    Unknown.
  • Diet:
    Carnivorous.
  • Sexual maturity:
    Female.18 years. Male. 20-22 years.

The Nurse Shark is a beautiful creature; however, this creature is a predator, devouring fish in the ocean. The Nurse Shark plays an important part in the food chain in the seas and oceans where it resides.

Now that you know more about the Lionfish by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.

 

Download questions about the Nurse Shark formed here: Nurse Shark (answers are on this page)

 

Teachers. For more in depth work sheets on the Nurse Shark. Click on Kidskonnect Worksheets

Nurse Shark Fun Facts for Kids

  • # 1. During the day, Nurse Sharks rest on the seafloor in giant piles.
  • # 2. When the males are ready to mate, they seize the female and drag them to deeper water to mate.
  • # 3. Nurse Sharks are the sharks that divers are most likely to encounter in Florida and a mostly harmless.
  • # 4. 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.
  • # 5. Unlike most species of shark, the Nurse Shark can breathe even when it lays motionless on the seafloor by actively pumping water from the mouth to the gills.

Q&A Corner

  • # 1. What does the Nurse Shark prey on?
  • # 2. How many Nurse Sharks babies can a female give birth to?
  • # 3. What is the scientific name of the Nurse Shark?
  • # 4. What do Nurse Sharks rest during the day?
  • # 5. What can Nurse Sharks do that most other sharks cannot?

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