Ryan Photographic - Ginglymostomatidae - Nurse sharks
The family Ginglymostomatidae consists of four species in three genera. The family is widely distributed in tropical and sub-tropical waters. Often referred to as nurse sharks they are normally found on the bottom but can occasionally be seen swimming at the surface or in mid-water. They are awkward swimmers and sometimes give the impression of only just having learned to so so!
Their benthic life style suggests they feed on benthic organisms and this is the case. Basically any organism that can be snaffled by the enormous suction created by changing the volume of their bucco-pharyngeal cavity is eaten. Items that are too large to be ingested whole are battered against the bottom and small chunks ripped out of them before being swallowed. Despite their benign appearance and behavior, nurse sharks are not to be trifled with - they are ranked fourth for documented attacks on humans but of course thanks to Elsevier this article requires payment.
Like many sharks, nurse sharks give birth to live young.
Ginglymostoma cirratum Nurse shark
Ginglymostoma cirratum Nurse shark head Belize
Nebrius ferrugineus Tawny Nurse shark
Nebrius ferrugineus Tawny Nurse shark Maldives P1090844
Nebrius ferrugineus, Tawny Nurse shark, Maldives P1090826