Nurse Shark

(Ginglymostoma cirratum)

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Shark Realm
IUCN Conservation Status
Data Deficient (DD)


Western Atlanta, Easter Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Oceans


300 cm (10.0 ft) avg; 430 cm (14.1 ft) max 1 110 kg (242.5 lbs.) max

The nurse shark is a common inshore bottom-dwelling shark, found in tropical and subtropical waters, and its typical habitats are reefs, channels between mangrove islands and sand flats. It can reach lengths of up to 14 feet. It is also nocturnal, spending the day in large inactive groups of up to 40 individuals. Hidden under submerged ledges or in crevices within the reef, the nurse shark seems to prefer specific resting sites and will return to them each day after the night's hunting.

Things To Know

Sharks Fish

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