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WHAT IS ELASMODIVER?

Not just Shark Pictures: Elasmodiver contains photos of sharks, skates, rays, and chimaera's from around the world. Elasmodiver began as a simple web based shark field guide to help divers find the best places to encounter the different species of sharks and rays that live in shallow water but it has slowly evolved into a much larger project containing information on all aspects of shark diving and shark photography.

There are now more than 10,000 shark pictures  and sections on shark evolution, biology, and conservation. There is a large library of reviewed shark books, a constantly updated shark taxonomy page, a monster list of shark links, and deeper in the site there are numerous articles and stories about shark encounters. Elasmodiver is now so difficult to check for updates, that new information and pictures are listed on an Elasmodiver Updates Page that can be accessed here:

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Shark picture - green sawfish

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NURSE SHARK

Young Nurse shark - Sail rock, Grenadines.

 

Foraging nurse shark, Tiger Beach

More Nurse shark photographs

View all available Nurse Shark Pictures in the Shark Pictures Database

Common Names: Nurse shark, Common nurse shark, Atlantic nurse shark.

Latin Name: Ginglymostoma cirratum.

Family: Ginglymostomatidae

Identification: Uniformly brown or gray body, paling slightly towards belly. Two dorsal fins of almost equal size close to tail. Head bulbous with small mouth. Mouth has a barbell on each side. Tail narrow with a large upper caudal lobe and no distinct lower lobe.

Size: 5 to 9ft max. 14ft.

Habitat: Found in many environments including reef flats, sandy areas, lagoons, and mangroves. From intertidal to 150ft.

Abundance: This is the most commonly encountered shark on most Caribbean reefs. It can be locally common from Florida to Brazil.

Distribution: On the Atlantic coast of the Americas from Rhode Island to Brazil. Bermuda and the Eastern Atlantic from Senegal to Gabon. Also in the Eastern Pacific from Baja California to Peru.

Behavior: Nocturnal. Sleeps under overhangs of reefs, or in mangroves during the day. Often found sleeping in small groups. At night forages for spiny lobsters, crabs, octopus, and sea urchins etc. May inhabit same area for many years.

Reproduction: Ovoviviparous.

Observations: On one night dive, I observed a Nurse darting in and out of our flashlight beams, possibly using the light for hunting but his agitated swimming suggested more that we were intruding.

Photographs: Sail rock, Grenadines, St Vincent (top). Tiger Beach, Bahamas (bottom).

Similar species: The nurse sharks shares its Eastern Atlantic range with the West African nurse shark Ginglymostoma brevicaudatum

Reaction to divers: During day lies motionless unless closely harassed. Will bite if provoked. Nurse sharks are opportunistic and become regular visitors to shark feeds.

Diving logistics: Nurse sharks are extremely common sights in many areas of Florida and the Caribbean. Until recently banned, Florida shark feeding dive boats out of Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, were guaranteed Nurse watching experiences. The Sea Emperor wreck off of this same coastline usually has a group of Nurses sleeping under the bow. More remote places in the Caribbean such as Sail Rock in the Grenadines usually have Nurses lying under every available overhang. This dive sight is accessible using Dive Grenadines out of Union Island.

Other diving locations submitted by readers:

Further reading:

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