Ginglymostoma cirratum Photo Fiona Sunquist ©
The nurse shark is very common in the shallow waters around south Florida, the Florida Keys and the Dry Tortugas.
Nurse sharks are active at night, and spend the day resting in shallow water in sandy areas. They are sometimes found in groups, and lie very close to one another, sometimes even piled on top of one another.
They feed on stingrays, squid, mollusks and crustaceans.
There is no commercial market for the nurse shark, but they are sometimes caught and sold as crab bait.
Nurse sharks are non-aggressive and will usually swim away if disturbed. However, they will bite if provoked and are capable of inflicting serious injury. More nurse shark bites are being reported in the past few years, probably because of the increase in adventure tourism operations that feed sharks in order to show them to tourists.
This link will take you to the species account for the Nurse Shark at the Ichthyology section of the Florida Museum of Natural History.
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