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Tawny Nurse Shark

Tawny Nurse Shark
Scientific Name

Nebrius ferrugineus

Other Common Name(s)
Giant Sleepy Shark, Rusty Catshark
Body Length
Up to 3.2 m
Around lagoons, coral reefs and rocky reefs of the tropical Indo-Pacific
Fun Facts

Fun Facts

  • Tawny nurse sharks rest near caves and crevices during the day. Forming a small group of about 2 to 6 sharks, they may pile on each other when they rest. They tend to return to the same shelter every day.

  • When tawny nurse sharks encounter prey that is out of their reach, they use their small mouth like a suction pump to suck in the prey. They feed on many kinds of food including crabs, octopuses, sea urchins and fish.

Threats & Conservation

IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
IUCN Red List: Vulnerable

As the fishing pressure in inshore waters is usually heavy, tawny nurse sharks are threatened by overfishing throughout their range. With limited home range, late sexual maturity and low fecundity, they are susceptible to local depletion, which has already been reported in India and Thailand. People consume their meat, fins, liver for oil and vitamins, skin for leather, and the remains for fishmeal. They are also regarded as a big prize by some recreational fishers. Destructive fishing tools such as explosives and poisons also destroy the reefs where these sharks live.

Do not consume shark fins!

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