Photo Credit: (c) Doug Perrine
An abundant, coastal, tropical and subtropical shark that inhabits nearshore waters of both
the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of Flordia. Often seen lying motionless on the bottom.
Preferred habitats are coral reefs, rocks, and mangrove islands.
Feeds mainly on bottom invertebrates such as spiny lobsters, shrimps, crabs, sea
urchins, squid, octopi, and marine molluscs; also feeds on some fish species, especially
Gives birth to live young. Litters contain 20-50 pups. Size at birth about 1 foot. Mating
aggregations reported in Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas, often in very shallow water.
Juveniles utilize shallow coral reefs, rocky areas, grass flats, and mangrove islands as
Maximum size about 9 feet. Matures at approximately 7 feet and is estimated to live 24+
Valued in the Caribbean for its high quality hide, but is considered a nuisance species in
most North American longline fisheries with fins and meat of little value. Does well in
captivity and has been used in many physiological and immunological studies. This
sluggish bottom-dwelling shark has been involved in only a few attacks on humans, most
of which were provoked.
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