The strange looking nurse shark is not the heavy, fearsome fish we normally expect a shark to look like. Its long, flexible body is yellowish-brown to grey-brown, with two spineless, rounded dorsal fins and a long tail fin that can be over a quarter of the whole body length (2). The large, rounded pectoral fins are flexible and muscular, and can be used as limbs to clamber along the sea bottom (2). The head is broad and flat, with small jaws housing small teeth (3) and fleshy, sensory projections (barbels) hang down by its mouth (2). It is not entirely clear where the nurse shark got its strange name from, perhaps from the ancient English name for a dogfish, 'huss' (4). More suitable is its scientific name which translates in Latin as 'the shark with the flexible curly mouth' (4).
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