Lemon shark got its name because of its great capability to camouflage into sandy areas. Although a powerful predator, this shark is often targeted by fishers who are looking to sell and trade its fins and meat. However, our strong friend will never give up that easy.
Where can we find the lemon shark?
Found from New Jersey to southern Brazil, our shark occurs in the tropical western Atlantic ocean. However, it also lives off the coast of West Africa in the southeastern Atlantic. Finally, its range goes to the eastern Pacific as well. But, when it comes to perfect habitat, our predator feels the best in shallow waters of coral reefs, mangroves, and river mouths. Although, it has been spotted at depths of 300 feet.
How does the lemon shark look?
Easily recognized by the distinct yellow hue of its skin, our shark blends in the sandy seafloor perfectly. Along with flattened head and short snout, all of this makes our shark a very skillful predator. But, there’s one more thing that helps this hunter be even better. Electroreceptors which are located in its head allow the shark to detect prey in the dark. Finally, the shark can grow between 7,9 to 10,2 feet in length and weigh up to 200 pounds.
Diet and hunting.
Until now, we’ve established that this shark has many tools that make it an extraordinary predator. Having that in mind, it’s obvious this animal can easily provide food for itself, in several ways. Thus, depending on where it is, our shark will either hold still camouflaged and ambush its prey or attack it directly. Therefore, the prey includes stingrays, crustaceans, bony fish, and even other sharks.
Just like bull sharks, lemon sharks are also viviparous, giving birth to live young. The gestation period lasts for 12 months. The female will give birth in shallow nursery waters during spring or summer. Having a quite large litter, the mother can give birth to up to 17 pups. The babies will remain in the nursery shelter for several years, saved from predators, and fed. After 6 years, they are ready to live on their own.
Did you know the largest lemon shark ever recorded was 12,1 feet long?
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