I’ll start this little blog by talking about one of my favourite animals: the nurse shark!
These sea puppies are part of the Chondrichthyes class of cartilaginous fish — to which all sharks belong, for they don’t actually have a skeleton, but a cartilaginous skeleton that lets them float more easily (fun fact: the older a shark is, the heavier their bones are, due to calcium salts they deposite in their cartilage to make them stronger and less vulnerable!).
The name "nurse shark" has a strangely mysterious origin: some sources say it was dubbed that way due to its appearance when eating, which resembles a nursing baby — but I much prefer the other explanation: that it may derive from an archaic word, nusse, meaning cat shark!
Suction feeders — THROAT GOAT.
There’s a reason as to why nurse sharks are so important in the world of shark research: they’re not only cute as hell, but also one of the slowest, calmest and most sedentary species of shark: they like to stay in one place and sleep all day in groups.
They’re bottom feeders, which means that they stick to coral reefs or underwater sand flats to find and eat small prey, which they swallow whole.
Unlike other species of sharks, nurse sharks do not need to be in constant movement to survive; they have a buccal pump that pushes water through their gills.
They may be big (up to 14 feet long!) and meaty, but they feed on mostly small creatures.
In fact, they’re usually pretty friendly towards humans
as long as divers are respectful.
They’re cute and kinda stupid-looking, but their teeth are several rows of tiny, serrated teeth, vicious!
Such jaws developed to snap shellfish and coral, although they much prefer softer foods, like shrimp and squid.
They enjoy tropical waters and warmer climates, and roam around coral reefs and environments with rich biodiversity.
Nurse sharks are ovoviviparous with biennial mating cycle, and it can take females up to 18 months to make her eggs.
Queue baby pictures!
Sadly, these friends are considered a vulnerable species due to habitat loss and overfishing :(