This shark has a lot of common names. The gummy dogfish, gummy shark, Japanese smooth hound, spotted shark, star-spotted gummy shark, star-spotted shark, star-spotted smooth hound, star-spotted smooth-hound, topes, and hound shark. Phew, what a mouthful!
Nurse sharks come in all colors: including tawny! The tawny nurse shark (Nebrius ferrugineus) lives up to its common name by being a grey to tawny color, with a paler color as its underbelly. Juvenile tawny nurse sharks have dark spots on their skin while adults don't.
We are whale-y excited to showcase this next shark to you, TFUI fans. Mostly because it has been a long time coming! It's one of TFUI Founder Melissa's dream species (as in, she wants to go snorkeling with it and in the future hopes to study them). Drumroll, please!
Introducing the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), the largest of all the fishes! Yes, despite it's name and it's rather large size (can get up to 18 metres in length but are more commonly 4-12 m) this IS a fish. Found around the world in tropical and warm temperate waters, these slow-moving animals feed on the smallest of critters in the sea: plankton, small crustaceans, squid, fish, and even fish eggs from the water! While they have hundreds (about 300) of hooked teeth, they don't use them to chew - instead they use filtering screens on their gills to suck up all those yummy treats. Most pictures of these beautiful animals are of them swimming with their huge mouths open. But don't let that fool you- they can eat vertically, too.
TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
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