tawny nurse shark

Scientific name Nebrius ferrugineus
Descriptor Lesson
Year of description 1831
IUCN category VU
Family Ginglymostomatidae
Genus Nebrius
Nebrius ferrugineus Nebrius ferrugineus


Nebrius ferrugineus, commonly known as tawny nurse shark, is a salt water fish.

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Who is it?


  • Average size
    250 cm
  • Maximum size
    320 cm
  • Average size
    250 cm
  • Maximum size
    320 cm

How to recognize the tawny nurse shark ?

The tawny nurse shark measures between 250 and 320 cm. This fish is unicolore with a predominantly gris body.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
  • Male sociability
    living in a group or alone
  • Female sociability
    living in a group or alone
  • territorial
  • Way of living

The tawny nurse shark hunts in the stalk and is one of the predators of its biotope. Opportunistic, it does not hesitate to attack any smaller animal nearby.

The tawny nurse shark is a fish living in a group or alone naturally found near the bottom. This species is carnivorous . This fish lives mainly at night. Usually, it leaves its hiding place and starts to be active once it gets dark.

Although the tawny nurse shark is non-territorial, it is sometimes aggressive towards other species.


  • Reproduction

The tawny nurse shark is a fish ovovivipare.

Risks for humans

  • Venomous
  • Bite

This species can attack if it feels threatened. It is important to be particularly vigilant especially during dives or fishing sessions.

Where to find it?

Where to see this species?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Temperature
    25 - 29 °C
  • Depth
    0 - 70 m

Biotope presentation

The tawny nurse shark is most often found at a depth between 0m and 70m. However, it is not impossible to find this species at other depths.

Species of the same biotope

To go further

Species of the same family

To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.

Adrien Falzon

Adrien Falzon


Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

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Where to see this species?

Species of the same family

Species of the same biotope

Scientific partners

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