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Being slow-moving dwellers at the bottom of the oceans, nurse sharks are also harmless to humans. Nurse sharks are “for the most part, harmless to humans,” according to National Geographic. Nurse sharks are a grayish brown color and their skin texture is somewhat unique for a shark. Copyright © 2020 Welcome To SharkSider.com!. There has never been an account of a Basking Shark attacking a human, and because of their passive attitude, they also make a great swimming partner for divers. There are three species of Sand Tiger Sharks and even within this diversity, they have never been known to attack a human. While adult nurse sharks can be found in depths of up to 250 feet, juvenile nurse sharks, like this growing guy, tend to stick to shallower water, frequently keeping themselves hidden in coral reefs. What is very interesting about Nurse Sharks is that they are nocturnal so they are active at night. Releasing a captive bred nurse shark in to the wild is another solution that many aquarium hobbyists turn to but it is one that generally results in the death of the shark in question. However, not only are they not a particularly aggressive shark, they hunt in very deep ocean waters at a minimum of 330 ft (100 m) so very few humans ever encounter them in the wild. Since they are highly camouflaged, most of the time swimmers don’t even notice them along the seafloor. More common than not, humans are to be blamed for nurse shark attacks; which are not a common occurrence. nurse sharks are very friendly and have no reason to attack you unless u go stabbing at it's eyeballs. … Biology. To sustain this free service, we receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. Sign Up for More Earth-Friendly Tips and Advice! Today we bring you the list of top 10 most dangerous Sharks on the world. However, the grey nurse shark is no longer considered a dangerous species by divers and is a very popular shark with aquariums due to its fierce looks, big pointy teeth and ability to survive well in captivity. They are often found just above the sea bed or in deep, sandy-bottomed gutters or rocky caves, such those around Broughton Island or Tomaree headland. All of these solutions pose significant problems for the shark however. Their jaws are also super strong with thousands of tiny but extremely sharp teeth. A nurse shark can be dangerous if you try to catch it with bare hands. It feels like sandpaper.” Sometimes called the couch potatoes of the sea, nurse sharks are large, peaceful fish that slowly drift along the bottom of the ocean in shallow water, sucking up food as they go. As mentioned before the nurse shark prefers to swim along the bottom of tropical and subtropical waters. All sharks are actually very friendly and do not attack humans. One of the more distinctive features of the nurse shark is the tail fin, an elongated and pointed fin that can grow to be as much as 1/4 the total body length of the shark. Unlike some other oceanic creatures, the nurse shark is able to remain stationary and continue to breathe underwater by sucking water in through the mouth and releasing it out of their gills. … Even though they are ferocious predators, there have been extremely few cases of Nurse Sharks ever attacking humans and even when they did, it was when they were directly antagonized and provoked. Sand tiger sharks, Carcharias taurus, also known as grey nurse shark, spotted ragged tooth shark, or blue-nurse sand tiger, are generally not a threat to humans. Captive bred nurse sharks are not given the opportunity to learn how to hunt for themselves, nor are they able to distinguish natural predators or other naturally occurring threats to their existence in the ocean. There have been reports of Greenland Sharks attacking kayaks, but there are no known attacks on humans. Nurses are a part of a helping profession that we rely upon for our own health and safety, and yet when this term is mentioned in reference to a shark this is definitely not the image that is conjured up. But 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.” So to help dispel the myth that all sharks are bloodthirsty, human hunting predators, we have compiled a list of the 10 least dangerous sharks. In general there are thousands of these individual teeth within the shark’s mouth and these teeth are replaceable. Nurse sharks are a bottom dwelling species of shark that humans often don’t give a second thought. Although Nurse Sharks may appear harmless they can be aggressive and bite. Most commonly the nurse shark, due to its nature as a bottom dweller, is pushed to defending itself when it is stepped upon in shallow waters. As the eggs develop within the female nurse shark they eventually hatch and the mother gives birth to small live nurse sharks. Though there are many myths about sharks being violent predators hunting and eating humans, the reality is most sharks do not ever attack humans. Do nurse sharks bite humans? While adult nurse sharks can be found in depths of up to 250 feet, juvenile nurse sharks, like this growing guy, tend to stick to shallower water, frequently keeping themselves hidden in … Unlike other species like the infamous great white shark, the nurse shark is not as widely known by the general population. In some cases the nurse shark can grow to an amazing 14 feet in length and it is not common for a saltwater aquarium keeper to have a tank that is capable of holding a shark of this length. Even then, there’s only been 5 Nurse Shark attacks and all have been non-fatal. Otherwise, even though they are incredibly prolific, they are not aggressive. Even though they are ferocious predators, there have been extremely few cases of Nurse Sharks ever attacking humans and even when they did, it was when they were directly antagonized and provoked. With its 300 sharp teeth, the great white has the most powerful bite of the animal world - 18,000 Newtons (1,835 kilograms force). It is not uncommon to see cannibalistic behavior in the nurse shark even in the womb as the stronger of the pups vie to compete for food against other siblings. Sharks have a fearsome reputation for attacking humans in more or less warm and deep waters. The ability of this shark species to endure captivity has led to the sale of juvenile nurse sharks in the saltwater aquarium trade. Information About Sharks, For Shark Lovers, Sharks Of The World Have Added Some Strange Items To Their Diet, Blue Shark Facts That Will Not Make You Blue, 5 Interesting Locations That Different Types Of Sharks Have Been Found. They are a long lived, late maturing species with a very low reproductive rate (maximum of 2 pups every 2 years). During the day they are going to be virtually inactive. The nurse shark, Ginglymostoma cirratum, on the other hand, can be quite the asshole if threatened. Nurse Sharks are a wonderful, docile species that are nicknamed the “couch potatoes of the ocean.” They are a favorite shark among divers to swim and snorkel with because you can get up close to them and still be very safe. When it comes to feeding, the nurse shark is limited by the size of its mouth and as such it cannot take in large prey items due to the risk of them becoming lodged in the mouth. Fortunately, even in the rare instances when a nurse shark does attack a human -- so far, 52 times, with no recorded fatalities -- the bite isn't powerful enough to be lethal [source: International Shark Attack File]. No, they are not an aggressive species. Donating a fully grown nurse shark to a local aquarium is also not a particularly feasible solution as most aquariums already have an established shark population and are unable to take on new individuals with their limited resources and financial support. Currently the conservation status of the nurse shark is unknown because there is an insufficiency of data available to determine whether these sharks are at risk for extinction. (For licensing or usage, contact email@example.com) My husband and are in the Caribbean on our honeymoon. The only time an Angel Shark has been known to attack is when they’ve been stepped on. The ability of this shark species to endure captivity has led to the sale of juvenile nurse sharks in the saltwater aquarium trade. Underwater model Irina Britanova, 27, tailed tawny nurse sharks … They are bottom dwelling, slow moving, and mainly hunt smaller food. Each tooth is built-in a fan-shaped structure with a number of serrated ridges. The victim, electrical apprentice Eli Zawadzki, suffered a deep cut to one foot and was taken to Fiona Stanley Hospital for surgery. Commonly the nurse shark returns to the same location to rest during the day. ‘Carpet shark’ is the common name for the group of 39 Orectolobiformes sharks. The Ginglymostomatidae family of sharks are characterized for their habit of living and feeding on the bottom of the ocean floor, hence the term “carpet sharks.” Sharks within this family are recognized not only for their bottom dwelling habits but also for their sluggish and docile nature. They are also one of the most social sharks of the ocean and tend to spend time in groups just lounging on the ocean floor. The nurse shark is something of a large shark and while they more commonly grow to be anywhere from 7 1/2 feet to 9 3/4 feet long, some individuals in the species have been seen as large as 14 feet long. While most sharks have a rough texture similar to sandpaper, the skin of the nurse shark is much more like that of the dolphin and has a smooth texture to it. but I am sure that you are not aware of the different types of sharks and how dangerous they can be. The nurse shark utilizes these “barbells” for both sensing touch and taste as they hunt along the ocean floor. The thing that swimers and divers should notice is that nurse sharks … Nurse Sharks are a wonderful, docile species that are nicknamed the “couch potatoes of the ocean.” They are a favorite shark among divers to swim and snorkel with because you can get up close to them and still be very safe. The nurse shark is one of the biggest predators that our oceans will ever see and this is crucial to the health of the ocean marine life. Most nurse sharks range in color from light to dark brown, though rare albino nurse sharks also exist. There are multiple theories that abound in reference to how this shark species got its name, the most favored of which is that it is derived from the old English word “hurse” which translates to “sea-floor shark.” Others believe that the name derives from the Archaic word “nusse” which translates to mean “cat shark.” The third theory states that the nurse shark got its name from the sucking sound that it makes when hunting prey, a sound that is likened to that of a nursing baby. The family name Ginglymostomatidae is of Greek origin and also characterizes these sharks as having a hinge-like mouth with “gynglimos” meaning hinge and “stoma” meaning mouth. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website. Younger nurse sharks often can be recognized from small spots on their skin. Nurse sharks are officially capable of reproduction at some point between the ages of 15 to 20 years old and much like with humans, this age varies from individual to individual. Of all 375 shark species, only about 12 are considered potentially dangerous to humans. The long and short of it is that unless you have a commercial sized aquarium and a budget large enough to keep a nurse shark fed healthily through its potentially 25 year long captive lifespan, this is not the “pet” for you. Female nurse sharks are capable of producing eggs every 18 months but this does not guarantee that they will mate every 18 months like clockwork. With that said however, the nurse shark is easily fished due to its slow movement and often becomes the target of local fishermen. (For licensing or usage, contact firstname.lastname@example.org) My husband and are in the Caribbean on our honeymoon. The majority are not, because most are very small. Bamboo Sharks are found in the coastal waters along Southeast Asia and the Australian continent. All sharks are actually very friendly and do not attack humans. They have acquired this unique colloquial name as many species resemble ornately patterned carpets. Image Source: Wikimedia. Image Source: Wikimedia. It is doubtful that at the moment this particular shark species is threatened with extinction; however, if they continue to be fished there is a possibility that one day they may face endangerment. The Nurse shark is one of the species of shark that are perfectly capable of breathing while sitting still. What happens in most cases is that a saltwater aquarium keeper will purchase a juvenile nurse shark and when it becomes too large for its tank will attempt to sell, donate or release the shark in the wild. Nurse Shark One of the better known species of shark, nurse sharks are usually the first species that comes to mind when people think of non-aggressive sharks. These sharks are used to being fed on a daily basis by humans. That is why many divers and snorkelers visit the Bahamas to swim with sharks. Model swims NAKED with sharks to prove the creatures are not dangerous to humans Warning: Graphic content. The conservation status of the nurse shark is globally assessed as being data deficient in- the IUCN List of Threatened Species owing to the lack of information across its range in the eastern Pacific Ocean and eastern Atlantic Ocean. The nurse shark is something of a large shark and while they more commonly grow to be anywhere from 7 1/2 feet to 9 3/4 feet long, some individuals in the species have been seen as large as 14 feet long. As mentioned before the body length of these sharks can range from 7.5 to as long as 14 feet long making those long tail fins anywhere from 1.9 feet to 3.5 feet long! Updated: March 15, 2016 Fish They are definitely docile and shy, however, if provoked, they can be dangerous. One perfect example of this is the reefs that many smaller marine organisms feed on, if these smaller organisms are left unchecked by nurse shark populations, they can quickly decimate reefs of the ocean – something that will affect ocean life as we know it. Nurse Sharks are the couch potatoes of the ocean. The barbell structures on the face of the nurse shark are what help it to detect prey items as it moves along the ocean floor. Bamboo Sharks are so docile, they have been noted to let divers stroke and pet them. Children interacting with nurse sharks in Staniel Cay marina. One can go near a resting individual without much fear. When you see them active during the day there are threats around them or they are struggling to find enough food for survival. Their need to socialize though is believed to have more to do with protection in numbers than in actually wishing to interact with one another. The only times they have ever attacked humans is when they have been directly antagonized and are protecting themselves. While the nurse shark is classified as being a particularly docile species of shark they are also active nocturnal hunters that tend to take advantage of dormant fish who are not prepared for attack during the night. Attacks: 64 Fatalities: 2 Many people are familiar with the sand tiger (Carcharias taurus) as the large sharks you see when visiting an aquarium.They go by a number of names including grey nurse shark, ragged-tooth shark and blue-nurse sand tiger and are found in warm waters around the world. Often these sharks prefer warmer shallower waters and can often be found thriving in mudflats, sand bars, on reefs, channels between mangrove islands and on sandy beaches. So why is the nurse shark called a nurse shark? Also they prefer extremely cold and deep waters, so humans very rarely encounter them in the wild. The nurse shark, Ginglymostoma cirratum, on the other hand, can be quite the asshole if threatened. Aplacental viviparity refers to a process where eggs develop inside the female of the species after fertilization. As mentioned previously attacks upon humans by nurse sharks are particularly unlikely; although in the past a handful of unprovoked attacks have been noted. There are many people who understand the importance of any animal species to the ecosystem in which it lives, but for those who have a fear of sharks the question of the importance of these creatures is often raised. They only attack when provoked or when they mistake you for a seal or prey. This doesn’t affect rankings. Since most hunting is done at night, the nurse shark feels along the bottom of the ocean floor for prey items and attacks them with its thousands of serrated teeth when an item is located. They have been observed be protective and show displays of dominance around humans who are spearfishing underwater, but these have never lead to an attack. This harmless shark species can grow as big as 14 feet with strong jaws filled with thousands of tiny, serrated teeth. 4 Comments. There are three genera of sharks to be found within the Ginglymostomatidae family, the Ginglymostoma, Nebrius and Psudoginglymostoma. The jaws are particularly powerful and in an undisturbed habitat they are utilized to crush shellfish and coral and shred squid, shrimp and fish. So while the nurse shark may not yet be an endangered species, it is our responsibility to ensure that overfishing and fear of these creatures does not lead to its eradication. Basking Sharks, like Whale Sharks are another incredibly large filter feeder. Though they are ferocious predators, they mainly just hang out along the bottom of the ocean in shallow waters and wait for prey. Between Hollywood movies like Jaws and Deep Blue Sea and television events like Shark Week, there’s a cultural myth that all sharks are a threat to humans. Written by Smrutica Jithendranath - Marine Biologist, Reethi Faru Resort, the Maldives. These small sharks measure around 48 in (121 cm) in length. The only times they have ever attacked humans is when they have been directly antagonized and are protecting themselves. Model swims NAKED with sharks to prove the creatures are not dangerous to humans Warning: Graphic content. Amy Brannan 6. They use both their long tails to beat and whip their prey and their shark teeth and powerful jaws to take them down. Nurse sharks are easily identified by the small mouth located forward of the eyes and just under the broad snout. Like This Article? These fleshy organs that look like whiskers to many, are located on the lower jaw and are used both to taste and as fingers to feel out prey. Not only does the fully grown shark require an extremely large tank but it also requires a significant amount of food to remain healthy. Family name: Ginglymostomatidae (nurse sharks) Order name: Orectolobiformes (carpet sharks) Sub-order: Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) Common name: Tawny nurse shark Scientific name:Nebrius ferrugineus This unassuming shark is the only surviving member of carpet sharks in the family Ginglymostomatidae. There are a number of uses for the nurse shark when fished locally but one of the most common is the unique skin of this shark. Reproduction in the nurse shark is a particularly interesting process and is referred to by biologists as aplacental viviparity. The grey nurse shark, Carcharias taurus, also called the your dad or ragged-tooth shark, is an elasmobranch and belongs to the odontaspididae (ragged-tooth) shark family.It can easily be recognized by its characteristic conical snout and under hung jaw. Let’s learn about them. These ten species of shark are just some of the 440 different species that roam our oceans. Nurse shark attacks are uncommon, but they’re certainly not unheard-of—and humans are usually to blame. Nurse Shark One of the better known species of shark, nurse sharks are usually the first species that comes to mind when people think of non-aggressive sharks. The mouth is bracketed by two sensory barbels. Photo: Thomas Males. Nurse sharks are slow-moving, bottom-dwellers of the ocean who relatively harmless to humans. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. To date, there are no documented cases of a Goblin Shark ever attacking a human. Despite their fierce appearance, grey nurse sharks are not considered dangerous to humans. Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. Like these ten sharks, the vast majority of shark species are not a direct threat to humans. They also tend to avoid larger animals like humans. Amy is currently self employed as a freelance writer and web designer. Some species of shark are known for migrating behavior that takes place as ocean currents shift and the waters the sharks inhabit become cooler. A newborn nurse shark measures in at approximately 12 inches long. Even though they are a lamniformes shark, so they are related to and often are mistaken for Great White Sharks, their temperament could not be any different from their predatory cousins. The nurse shark won’t hesitate to give a defensive bite though and at as long as 14 feet they can leave a significant wound behind. The Nurse Shark. However, even though these are an aggressive species of shark, there have only been 5 total Thresher Shark attacks on humans, all have been provoked, and four happened when a Thresher Shark was brought aboard a boat. Selling a nurse shark poses difficulty in that there are few saltwater aquarium owners who have the resources to take on such a large shark. The great white shark, also known as the "white pointer," is the largest and deadliest predatory shark of the ocean.. The nurse shark is a member of the genus Ginglymostoma. The scientific name for the nurse shark is Ginglymostoma cirratum, placing it within the Ginglymostomatidae family of sharks. Most Dangerous Sharks They are also one of the most social sharks of the ocean and tend to spend time in groups just lounging on the ocean floor. Despite the fact that many times the nurse shark can be found resting in larger groups, during the day these are solitary hunters that sweep the ocean floors for unsuspecting prey. Where many other sharks possess a sandpaper like texture to their skin, the smooth texture of the nurse shark gives it a leather like quality that is utilized in the textiles industry. Though impressive hunters, Bamboo Sharks have never attacked humans. North American nurse sharks have been known to be rather irritable and can deliver a nasty bite when annoyed. Were the nurse shark species to become extinct the smaller marine life that these sharks feed upon would soon begin to grow out of control and put other species in danger as they succumbed to large populations of these creatures. Nurse sharks are typically harmless to humans. They have powerful retractable jaws, lined with sharp teeth, that jut out and quickly snag their prey. NURSE SHARK. Photo: Thomas Males. Be warned though, they grow to be huge. Angel Sharks are found along the coast of every continent in the world, hunting just underneath the sandy surface. Amy grew up in England and in the early 1990's moved to North Carolina where she completed a bachelors degree in Psychology in 2001. Nurse shark behavior differs, depending on where in the world they are. Measuring between 11 and 21 feet, it can propel itself at over 40 miles per hour (64 kilometers per hour). Nurse sharks are one species of shark that tend to be able to thrive in a commercial aquarium setting where many other shark species have been noted for their inability to thrive in captivity. The nurse shark pups resemble the fully grown nurse sharks with the exception of, of course, their size. When she is not working Amy can be found curled up with a good book and her black Labrador, Jet. As the waters become colder, the nurse shark simply becomes less active requiring less energy to function. Between their smaller size and non-aggressive temperaments, these sharks pose no threat to humans. So considering how many opportunities they have to attack humans, Leopard Sharks present zero threat to people. Hocher told INSIDER that interacting with nurse sharks is usually a safe activity, but the sharks do occasionally bite humans. In this article we will cover everything you ever wanted to know about the nurse shark including: how the nurse shark got its name, where it prefers to live, what it feeds on and the normal behavior of these bottom dwellers. The downside is that the nurse shark's small mouth is attached to a large pharynx that enables it to suck up food and latch onto it. Have you ever seen or swam with a nurse shark? In fact there are several species of shark that present no risk at all to humans. Shark belongs to that species which prey on other fishes and human, and they have been rated deadly predators among fishes. actually, u should be more hapy than worried to see sharks cos they are very rare. The usual mating season for the nurse shark is from the end of June to the end of July and the gestation process takes approximately six months in order for the nurse shark pups to develop fully. Grey nurse sharks also had a bad reputation as being dangerous due to their fierce-looking appearance, but they are actually quite a timid animal and have often been described as a ‘labrador of the sea’. The body is rather stout and the head is particularly wide with barbells that can be seen well. Nurse sharks have particularly strong hinged jaws which contain thousands of small serrated teeth and they w… They also live in large groups that can have up to 40 members. Where many species of shark are fished intentionally, there is not a particularly wide trade for commercially fishing the nurse shark. Attacks: 64 Fatalities: 2 Many people are familiar with the sand tiger (Carcharias taurus) as the large sharks you see when visiting an aquarium.They go by a number of names including grey nurse shark, ragged-tooth shark and blue-nurse sand tiger and are found in warm waters around the world. In fact, Whale Sharks have been known to not only be tolerant of divers, but some will even interact and play with humans. Ginglymostomatidae sharks are found most commonly in tropical and subtropical waters due to their preference for warmer waters, and more often than not they are found in shallower areas of the ocean. Sand Tiger Sharks are another non-threatening shark species. Young nurse sharks have little black spots along their backs. The grey nurse shark, also known as the sand tiger shark or spotted ragged-tooth shark, can grow to 3.6 metres long. There are a number of problems that occur when this species is kept in a personal saltwater aquarium however, the largest of which being the size of the shark once it has matured. Our review process. This system of replaceable teeth ensures that the nurse shark does not starve due to tooth loss which is a common occurrence even for a shark that prefers to feed on smaller fish and crustaceans. YouTube is loaded with videos of scuba … Nurse Sharks are a great shark for new divers and snorkelers to swim with because they present no threat to humans. Underwater model Irina Britanova, 27, tailed tawny nurse sharks … In addition, the nurse shark can be found in the Eastern Pacific from Southern Baja California to Peru and in the islands of the Caribbean. Though Leopard Sharks are found in the same shallow waters humans often swim in, there has never been a case of a Leopard Shark attacking a person.
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