Scientific NameGinglymostoma cirratum
Native To Tropical and sub-tropical Atlantic and eastern Pacific
Habitat Coral reefs, seagrass flats and rocky areas
Diet Fish, shrimp, squid, shellfish and coral
Size and Age 2.3-3 m (7.5-9.75 ft) in length; average lifespan of 25 years (under human care)
Nurse sharks are slow-moving bottom-dwellers that are mostly harmless to humans. They have very strong jaws filled with thousands of tiny, serrated teeth, and will bite defensively if stepped on or bothered by divers who assume they’re docile.
They use their strong jaws to crush and eat shellfish and even coral, but prefer to dine on fish, shrimp, and squid. They are gray-brown and have distinctive tail fins that can be up to one-fourth their total length. Unlike most other sharks, nurses are smooth to the touch.