Lemon Shark

The lemon shark (Negaprion brevirostris) is a species of shark found in shallow subtropical waters and are known to inhabit and return to specific nursery sites for breeding. Often feeding at night, these sharks use electroreceptors to find their main food.

Lemon sharks have flattened heads with short, broad snouts, and two dorsal fins. The lemon shark gets its name from the sandy-yellow color its skin has. The shark’s yellow coloring serves as a perfect camouflage when swimming over the sandy seafloor. The lemon shark commonly attains a length of 2.4 to 3.1m and a weight up to 90kg by adulthood. Lemon sharks have electroreceptors in their heads. These receptors detect electrical pulses emitted by potential prey and allow these feeders to sense their prey in the dark.

This species of shark often occupies the subtropical shallow waters of coral reefs, mangroves, and river mouths, however, lemon sharks have also been found in the open ocean down to depths of 92 m. Although lemon sharks do swim up rivers, they never seem to travel very far into fresh water. They are found in open water primarily during migrations and tend to stay along the continental shelves for most of their lives.

The lemon shark is targeted by commercial and recreational fishermen along the U.S. Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean due to its prized meat, fins, and skin. Lemon shark skin may be used for leather and its meat can be consumed and is believed to be a delicacy in many cultures. Concern exists that over-fishing has led the lemon shark populations in the western North Atlantic and the eastern Pacific Ocean to decline. Lemon sharks do not represent a huge threat to humans. The International Shark Attack File (ISAF) lists 10 unprovoked lemon shark bites, none of which were fatal.

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