Species: Ginglymostoma cirratum, Nurse shark
Ginglymostoma cirratum (Bonnaterre, 1788)
Head broad and flattened; snout broad, rounded; nostrils with large barbels; eyes small, oval, behind the mouth; mouth small, transverse, opens a little under snout; teeth small, multicusped; five small gill arches, last two close together and over pectoral fin; fins blunt and rounded; two large dorsal fins, second dorsal ~½ size of first, base of first one over base of pelvics; tail asymmetrical, lower lobe hardly developed.
Yellow brown to grey brown; young with small dark spots and obscure saddle markings on back.
Size: to ~ 300 (possibly 430) cm.
Lives around reefs, mangroves, and sand flats.
Depth range: 0-130 m, usually nearshore.
The E and W Atlantic; in the W Atlantic from Rhode Island to S Brazil.
Note: The E Pacific form for which the name G. cirratum currently is used, is a presently unnamed, different species.
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- Inshore Only
- Water Column Position
- Bottom only
- Reef and soft bottom
- Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
- Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
- Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
- Sand & gravel
- FishBase Habitat
- Reef Associated
- Feeding Group
- Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
- Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
- Bony fishes
- Egg Type
- No pelagic larva
- Live birth
- No pelagic phase
- Global Endemism
- East Pacific + all Atlantic (East+West)
- Greater Caribbean non-endemic
- Regional Endemism
- Continent + Island (s)
- GC non-endemic
- Extends North of GC
- Extends N + S of GC
- Island (s)
- Also in Brazil
- Extends South of GC
- Climate Zone
- Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
- Temperate (>35N)
- Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
- Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
- IUCN Red List
- Data deficient
- Not listed
- Length Max (cm)
- Depth Range Min (m)
- Depth Range Max (m)