Mysterious Ghost Sharks' Sex Habits Revealed loading...
Mysterious Ghost Sharks' Sex Habits Revealed
Not only do males have retractable sex organs on their heads, females have a special place in their reproductive system for sperm.
Why an 2.5-Metre Great White Shark Leapt Onto a Fishing Boat loading...
Why an 2.5-Metre Great White Shark Leapt Onto a Fishing Boat
One expert believes the story of a great white shark leaping unprovoked onto a small fishing boat, if true, would be highly unusual.
Mysterious Shark Killer (Partially) Identified loading...
Mysterious Shark Killer (Partially) Identified
Scientists have discovered a surprising culprit behind a rash of shark strandings in California and elsewhere, but many questions remain.
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.
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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