Nurse Shark

Nurse shark (Brian Lasenby /

The nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum) is probably named for the sucking noise it makes when hunting, which reminds of a nursing baby. It has a yellow- to gray-brown body, strong jaws, and a distinctive tail fin that can be up to one-fourth of its total length. In contrast to most other sharks, nurse sharks have smooth skin. They reach about 3 meters in length.. Some divers have been attacked after approaching a sleeping animal. In total, 9 unprovoked attacks on humans (all non-fatal) have been reported.

Inhabits the East-Pacific Ocean.

Inhabits the Atlantic Ocean.

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This supplemental online resource accompanies the book Scuba Diving Hand Signals by Lars Behnke, available on Amazon.