Nurse sharks will face into the current and pump water through their mouth and over their gills, allowing them to remain motionless unlike other shark species.
Coloration is deep brown in adults, while juveniles have spots which fade with age
One barbels on either side of their mouth
Fins are rounded
Eyes are small
Caudal fin lacks a lower lobe
A nocturnal species, nurse sharks have been shown to prefer specific resting sites and will return to these sites repeatedly after foraging at night. Unlike many other shark species, nurse sharks can remain stationary on the sea floor; they face against the current and pump the water through the mouth and gills.
There are multiple theories on how the nurse shark received its name. Some believe it is due to the noise they make when hunting prey in the sand, as it sounds like a baby nursing. Others believe it is from an archaic word meaning cat shark, which is used to describe a large group of bottom-dwelling sharks. And still others believe it is from an Old English word for seafloor shark (hurse).
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the nurse shark population as Data deficient due to the lack of understanding on population trends and what impact fisheries are having on this species.
120 inches (304 centimeters)
Spiny lobsters, shrimps, crabs, sea urchins, squids, octopus, snails, bivalves, fish, and stingrays