Lemon shark - Negaprion brevirostris
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
A big stocky short-nosed yellowish shark. Its dorsal fins are about the same size.
Dark brown, olive or pale yellowish-brown above; yellowish below.
Males mature at about 7.3 ft [2.24 m] and reach at least 9.15 ft [2.79 m]. Females mature around 7.8 ft [2.39 m] and reach at least 9.3 ft [2.85 m].
Teeth in upper jaw have narrow triangular smooth-edged cusps and broad finely-serrated bases. Lower jaw teeth have narrow erect smooth-edged cusps.
Inshore species that may enter fresh water.
Western Atlantic from New Jersey to southern Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Eastern North Atlantic including Senegal and Ivory Coast. Eastern Pacific from southern Baja to Ecuador.
Prey – Bony fishes, rays, small sharks, crustaceans, mollusks and sea birds.
Reproduction – Viviparous with a yolk-sac placenta. Gestation is about 12 months. Litters range from 4 to 19 pups, and size at birth is 23.6 to 25.6 inches [60 to 65 cm].
The shark is nocturnal; it is active at night close inshore: around docks, saltwater creeks, estuaries, bays and inlets.
This species has been involved in unprovoked incidents in South Carolina, Florida and Texas. It may become very aggressive toward divers if molested.