Ginglymostoma cirratum, the nurse shark, resides in coastal waters in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. In the Pacific Ocean, nurse sharks are found in waters off. Ginglymostoma cirratum. These bottom dwelling sharks are usually yellowish-tan to dark brown and, as adults, average around to 8 feet. Reference for: Ginglymostoma cirratum. Source: NODC Taxonomic Code, database (version ). Acquired: Notes: Reference for: Ginglymostoma cirratum.

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Description & Behavior

The nurse shark has two rounded dorsal fins, rounded pectoral fins, an elongated caudal fin, and a broad head. Ginglymostoma cirratum cirrstum host to the following tapeworms: Pseudocarcharias Crocodile shark P. The biology of the nurse shark, Ginglymostoma cirratum, off the Florida east coast and the Bahama Islands. Similarities in the reproductive cycle and molecular phylogenetic data indicate a close relationship between the nurse shark family Ginglymostomatidae and the whale shark family Rhincodontidae.

The nurse shark is common in the Atlantic, in the coastal tropical and sub-tropical waters. Southern sleeper ginglykostoma S. Grey nurse shark C. The nurse shark genus Ginglymostoma is derived from Greek language meaning hinged mouth, whereas the species cirratum is derived from Latin meaning having curled ringlets. Danger to Humans Nurse sharks are not generally aggressive and usually swim away when approached. Ctenacis Harlequin catshark C.

The mating season runs from late June to the end of July, with a gestation period of six months and a typical litter of 21—29 pups. The Eastern Pacific population has recently been described as a separate species Ginglymostoma unami.


A Dictionary of Zoology. Proseriata and Kalyptorhynchia – Rhabditophora Nurse sharks are not generally aggressive and usually swim away when approached. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Nurse sharks, Ginglymostoma cirratumare nocturnal, feeding on bottom invertebrates such as spiny lobsters, shrimps, crabs, sea urchins, squids, octopuses, snails and bivalves, and fishes such as catfishes, mullets, puffers and stingrays.

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Biting behavior in males has been noted as being a possible indicator of a sexual hierarchy and is maintained through such behavior. Pacific Ocean body of water between the southern ocean above 60 degrees south latitudeAustralia, Asia, and the western hemisphere. The anal fins are similar in size to the second dorsal fins and precede the tail. Cirrhoscyllium Barbelthroat carpetshark C. They form the basis for rich communities of other invertebrates, plants, fish, and protists.

Females frequently try to avoid contact with males by swimming in very shallow water, where they can bury their pectoral fins in the sand Castro The following is a breakdown of stomach contents included in stomach sampling from Castro Nurse sharks are adapted to suction-feed within 3 cm of their mouth.


This system probably allows the species to prey on small fish that are resting at night, but that are too active for the sluggish nurse shark to catch during the day. Nurse sharks repeatedly use the same mating locations. Longnose velvet dogfish C.

It is not true that that all sharks need to swim in order to breathe, and when they cannot for whatever reason, they die. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikispecies.

Eusphyra Winghead shark E. A review of the genus Pedibothrium Linton, Tetraphyllidea: Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery.

Nurse Sharks, Ginglymostoma cirratum ~

Journal of Fisheries Biology. However, some larger sharks are known to occasionally feed on them. They also stay in the same group after copulation. Largespine velvet dogfish P.

In the United States commercial fishery, they are often caught as by-catch but are released alive Rose et al. In the waters of the Florida Keys and the Dry Tortugas archipelagos, the reproductive behavior of the nurse shark has been regularly observed and studied. This dual respiratory system is especially important for bottom dwellers such as nurse sharks.

Ginglymostoma cirratum

Maximum adult length is currently documented as 3. After mating, gestation takes five to six months Compagno et al. Gollum Slender smooth-hound G. Nurse sharks show a strong preference for certain resting sites and repeatedly return to the same caves and crevices following nocturnal activity.