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Sharks & Rays

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Whitetip Reef Shark (Triaenodon obesus)
Whitetip Reef Shark
(Triaenodon obesus)

In startling contrast to the gray reef shark, the whitetip reef shark is a timid and unaggressive species. This shark is commonly found near the floor of the coral reef, where it feed mainly on small fish, octopus, lobster and crabs. The whitetip grows to a length of 5 feet, and can be identified by the white markings on the tips of its fins.

Silky Shark (Carcharhinus falciformis)
Silky Shark
(Carcharhinus falciformis)

The silky shark gets its name from the fact that, unlike most sharks, it has an unusually smooth skin. It is one of the most common sharks in the open ocean. The silky shark is a relatively small species. This shark also exhibits unique trait. It can be temporarily immobilized by turning it over on its back.

Nurse Shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum)
Nurse Shark
(Ginglymostoma cirratum)

The nurse shark is a very docile and unaggressive species. It is a sluggish bottom feeder, and it uses its pavement-like teeth to crush shellfish. The Nurse Shark is commonly seen lying motionless on the ocean floor. It grows to an average length of 8 feet. Although any wild animal can be dangerous if cornered, the nurse shark is not considered a threat to man.

Leopard Shark (Triakis semifasciatus)
Leopard Shark
(Triakis semifasciatus)

The shy and harmless leopard shark is a favorite among aquarium hobbyists. This shark gets its name from its leopard-like spots. It grows to a length of 5 to 6 feet, and is often found resting on sandy ocean bottoms. The leopard shark is ovoviviparous, meaning the mother shark hatches its eggs inside her body and then gives birth to between 4 and 30 live pups.

Horn Shark (Heterodontus francisci)
Horn Shark
(Heterodontus francisci)

The horn shark is a small, timid species that grows to a length of about 4 feet. It is nocturnal, hiding under rocks during the day, becoming active at night. This shark poses no threat to humans and can be easily approached. The horn shark is common in Pacific waters, where it feeds on sea urchins, abalone, bony fish, and crustaceans.

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