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 Shorttail nurse shark (Pseudoginglymostoma brevicaudatum)

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Shorttail nurse shark
No image of Shorttail nurse shark found in the Shark Database
 Range Map

Earth Map


Phylum: Vertebates (Chordata)

Class: Carlilagenous Fishes (Chondrichthyes)
  Order: Carpetsharks (Orectolobiformes)
    Family: Nurse sharks (Ginglymostomatidae)
      Genus: Pseudoginglymostoma (Pseudoginglymostoma)


Scientific: Pseudoginglymostoma brevicaudatum
Synonyms: Ginglymostoma brevicaudatum
German: Kurzschwanz Ammenhai
English: Shorttail nurse shark
French: Requin-nourrice à queue courte
Spanish: Gata nodriza rabicorta


Typical nurse shark appearance, but very small. Broad and flattened head. Small spiracles behind the eyes. Very short barbels. Mouth well in front of the eyes. Cylindrical body, with two dorsal fins of nearly the same size. Anal fin of same size as dorsal fins. Origin of first dorsal fin over bases of pelvic fins. Origin of second dorsal fin over anal fin"s origin. Moderately large pectoral fins, broad.


Entire body is dark brown. No conspicuous markings.


Western Indian Ocean: Tanzania, Kenya.


A little known species of inshore waters. Lives preferably at the bottom of the continental and insular shelves. Seems to be common.


Feeds most likely on molluscs.


Compared to other "nurse sharks", it is very small, maximum size about 75 cm, average between 50 and 70 cm.


Unknown, most likely aplacental viviparous (ovoviviparous).

 Similar Species

Similar to Tawny nurse shark , which however is of much larger size, its pectoral fins are falcate, and dorsal fins pointed.


Status in the IUCN Red List(Version 2001):

Main criterion: > VU (Vulnerable)
Sub criterion: A3cd A4cd
Trend: Unknown

 Danger to Humans


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