#65: Our Reef Residents - Up Close with Bimini the Nurse Shark

Our female nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum) is named Bimini after an island in the Bahamas. She's about 9 years old and is 7.5 feet long. She weighs 175 lbs. (You can read more posts that mention her here, here and at the very end of this one.)

Bimini is a strikingly beautiful shark and one of my favorite animals in the exhibit. Without anthropomorphizing her (that means giving her human features) too much, she's got spunk. I remember one time when I was sitting at the bottom of the tank just watching her be her sharky self. When she got tired of being stared at, she knocked my mask off my head and swam away. Gotta love that attitude!

I decided to take some photos of Bimini so our blog readers could see her up close too. I hope you enjoy them.

Here are two photos of her snout.

These are her long barbels (used to find food).

Here you can see her broad, sub-terminal mouth.
(If you're interested in shark teeth, check out this earlier post.)

Here's an eye and tiny spiracle (small upside-down U shape to the right).

You can see inside her gills in this one.

Here's a close up of her dermal denticles which protect her skin (this is why she feels sandpapery to the touch).



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