Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Chondrichthyes
Subclass - Elasmobranchii
Order - Carcharhiniformes
Family - Carcharhinidae
Genus - Negaprion
Species – N. brevirostris
Common Name – Lemon Shark
Lemon sharks are active during the day and night, but prefer to feed during the latter. They are specialized feeders who prefer to feed on specific fish of a certain size, depending on range. Lemon sharks prefer to live in loose social groups, and may undertake long migrations in search of food.
Lemon shark young are born live, as opposed to hatching from eggs. Sharks are born in specific nursery areas, where the young sharks may live for many years before traveling to deeper waters. Gestation last 14 months, and females usually give birth to between four and 17 babies, called “pups”.
Lemon sharks are robust sharks that can grow to over 10 feetlong. They are typically a yellowish brown color to help camouflage them against the coastal sandy sea bottoms where it roams. Aside from its color, it can be distinguished from other related requiem sharks by its blunt snout and second dorsal fin, which is almost as large or in some cases as large as the first. The lemon shark’s teeth are not serrated, hence its generic name “Negaprion”, which means “not a saw”.
Lemon sharks are very well known, due to the work of Samuel Gruber of the University of Miami who has studied these sharks since 1967.
Lemon sharks do quite well in captivity and can be found in many aquariums, though they will often eat other fish in their tanks.