Great White Sharks on the Rise in This Vacation Town loading...
Great White Sharks on the Rise in This Vacation Town
For the second year in a row, the number of great white sharks migrating to Cape Cod is increasing.
Why Sharks Are Getting Stuck in Diver Cages loading...
Why Sharks Are Getting Stuck in Diver Cages
Divers and conservationists say uptick in incidents could actually be beneficial to the species.
See Award-Winning Underwater Photos From Around the World loading...
See Award-Winning Underwater Photos From Around the World
These 13 photos were among those recognized by the Underwater Photographer of the Year contest, which showcases the best in underwater photography.
Shark Surprises Aquarium With Rare ‘Virgin Birth’ loading...
Shark Surprises Aquarium With Rare ‘Virgin Birth’
For the first time, scientists have recorded a shark switching from sexual to asexual reproduction.
Divers Remove a Fist-Sized Hook From a Shark's Mouth–By Hand loading...
Divers Remove a Fist-Sized Hook From a Shark's Mouth–By Hand
Dramatic photos show a diver gently pulling a large hook out of a shark's mouth, but scientists say the act may not have been necessary.
Watch Shark Come Within Inches of Divers in 'Magical' Encounter loading...
Watch Shark Come Within Inches of Divers in 'Magical' Encounter
Conservation-focused shark divers get up close and personal with DJenny the tiger shark off the coast of Florida.
Extinct Car-Size Shark Discovered loading...
Extinct Car-Size Shark Discovered
The big predator plied the ancient waters of both the Atlantic and Pacific.
2 Weeks, 4 Deaths, and the Beginning of America's Fear of Sharks loading...
2 Weeks, 4 Deaths, and the Beginning of America's Fear of Sharks
After the attacks in New Jersey in 1916, what were once thought to be frightening-looking yet essentially benign animals became man-eating predators.
Shark In Australia Gives Rare 'Virgin Birth' to Three Pups loading...
Shark In Australia Gives Rare 'Virgin Birth' to Three Pups
A leopard shark in an aquarium in Australia surprised its keepers with the rare phenomenon.
About Nurse Shark

The scientific name for the nurse shark sounds like something Bilbo Baggins might have said to summon elves to his rescue: Ginglymostoma cirratum. Actually the name is a mix of Greek and Latin and means "curled, hinged mouth" to describe this shark's somewhat puckered appearance.

The origin of the name "nurse shark" is unclear. It may come from the sucking sound they make when hunting for prey in the sand, which vaguely resembles that of a nursing baby. Or it may derive from an archaic word, nusse, meaning cat shark. The most likely theory though is that the name comes from the Old English word for sea-floor shark: hurse.

Fast Facts 

Type: Fish

Diet: Carnivore

Average life span in captivity: Up to 25 years

Size: 7.5 to 9.75 ft (2.2 to 3 m)

Weight: 200 to 330 lbs (90 to 150 kg)

Group name: School or shoal

Did you know? Nurse sharks are nocturnal and will often rest on the sea floor during the day in groups of up to 40 sharks, sometimes piled on top of each other.

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