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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Fin-tastic Lemon Shark Facts For Kids

Lemon shark facts are amazing

Lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) are a species of sharks that can mainly be found in the Atlantic and the Pacific. Lemon shark species are known to reach sexual maturity from 12-16 years of age. They are called 'lemon sharks' because of their yellow brown skin color which helps them to camouflage. The second dorsal fins of this species is almost as large as their first fins. Found in shallow water regions of Southern Brazil and Baja California, lemon sharks do not possess any direct threat to humans. They are extremely social species and track their prey by using their receptors which help them detect the electric pulses generated by their prey. Lemon sharks belong to the order Carcharhiniformes. They  move in groups which are formed on the basis of their size or sex. Their conservation status is listed as 'near threatened' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

If you are fascinated by the lemon sharks, then you may want to read the following amazing lemon shark facts. If you want to learn more about different animals, you can read up on Loach and Atlantic Cod.

Lemon Shark Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a lemon shark?

The lemon shark is a type of shark that can be found in subtropical shallow waters.

What class of animal does a lemon shark belong to?

Lemon shark are marine animals that belong to the Chondrichthyes class of animals.

How many lemon sharks are there in the world?

Although the exact population of lemon sharks inhabiting this world is still unknown, there has been a rapid decline in their number since 2007. They are generally targeted by commercial fishermen who kill them for their meat, skin, and  fins. Their meat is eaten as a delicacy in several areas and their skin is sometimes used for leather. The destruction of their mangrove habitat as well as the practice of 'shark finning', a ritual where several communities believe eating fin soup can heal many diseases, have further led to their decrease in population.

Where does a lemon shark live?

Lemon sharks are marine animals who generally tend to live in a warm water habitat and avoid places that have thick sea grasses because it makes it difficult for them to find their prey. They can also be found in enclosed bays and shallow waters of coral reefs and mangroves with a rocky or sandy bottom and in open ocean as deep as 301 ft (92 m). Occasionally, lemon sharks may also be seen near river mouths.

What is a lemon shark's habitat?

The habitat of a lemon shark generally include the Atlantic ocean and Eastern Pacific ocean, New Jersey, Brazil .

Who do lemon shark live with?

Lemon sharks are known to be social creatures, who move in groups or loose aggregations. They form groups based on similar size or sex. Living in groups helps to enhance their communication further and intensifies courtship and predatory behavior.

How long does a lemon shark live?

The life span of a lemon shark is 27 years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

Mainly found in the Atlantic and Pacific waters, lemon sharks are marine creatures who reach their sexual maturity as early as at the age of 12-16 years. They assemble at special mating grounds for reproduction. Spring and summer are generally considered to be their mating season. Gestation period lasts for 10-12 months, and females give birth to their offspring in shallow nursery waters. Young lemon sharks, also known as pups, stay in their nursery for several years, following which they move further into deeper waters.

What is their conservation status?

Lemon sharks are listed as a 'near threatened' species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The destruction of the mangrove, which is one of their primary habitats and the practice of 'shark finning', a practice where their dorsal fins are used to make fin soup and eaten by several communities, have decreased their number form the world gradually. They have also been killed for their meat which is considered as a delicacy in several communities and their skin which is used for leather by humans.

Lemon Shark Fun Facts

What do lemon shark look like?

Lemon sharks who can be generally found in shallow waters have a flattened head along with a short broad snout. They have two equal sized dorsal fins and their yellow coloring serves as a camouflage when they are swimming on the sea floor filled with sand. They have receptors concentrated on their heads, which allows them to sense any electrical pulses emitted by their potential preys and helps them to hunt in the dark as well.

Lemon sharks hunt at night.

How cute are they?

Although lemon sharks do not possess any direct threat to humans, they are not at all cute. Because of their fierce look and large body, one is likely to get scared when encountered by this species.

How do they communicate?

Lemon sharks are social animals who move in large groups based on size. They communicate with each other to form social bonds, establish hierarchy of dominance, and form courtships. Like all other sharks, lemon sharks communicate with each other by arching their body. They also have receptors which helps them further to detect their preys and hunt them.

How big is a lemon shark?

Lemon sharks are social animals, who can grow up to a length of  7.9-10.2 ft  (2.4-3.1 m). The maximum length attained by a lemon shark is almost 11.3 ft (3.43 m). They are slightly smaller in size than the whale shark, which is considered to be the biggest of the shark species.

How fast can a lemon shark swim?

Lemon sharks move at a speed of 2 mph (3.2 km/h).

How much does a lemon shark weigh?

An adult lemon shark can weigh up to  200 lb  (90 kg). The largest lemon shark was recorded to have weight of 405 lb  (183.7 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for male and female lemon sharks. Like all other species of sharks, they are generally referred to as males and females.

What would you call a baby lemon shark?

Baby Lemon sharks are known as pups.

What do they eat?

Lemon sharks are social animals who are piscivorous, that is, they feed on other smaller fish. Unlike other species of the shark family, they are selective eaters and prey on species that are more abundant or easily available and are slower, so can be captured easily. Most of their prey generally includes bony fish, mollusks, and crustaceans. They hunt mainly at night and their receptors help them in doing so.

Are they dangerous?

Known for their two equal shaped dorsal fins, lemon sharks do not typically pose any threat to humans. However, because of their sheer size and predatory behaviors towards other smaller fish, they are deemed dangerous and should not be taken lightly.  

Would they make a good pet?

No, lemon sharks are not at all ideal to be kept at home. Although they are not aggressive towards humans, but because of their huge size they require a large area to be kept in. The maintenance behind keeping a lemon shark at home is also quite expensive. They are wild animals and should be kept in the wild to look after themselves.

Did you know...

Lemon shark (Negaprion brevirostris) is a marine animal, who belongs to the family Carcharhinidae. It is known to have very poor eyesight and hence, is largely dependent on their receptors to prey on other animals and navigate through the water.

According to several scientists, 'feeding frenzy' is a type of behavior that is largely displayed by lemon sharks where in they attack in a coordinated group assault, when they notice a large school of prey nearby.

Lemon sharks have been known to do well when taken captive. Unlike other shark species, lemon sharks are tolerant by nature and thrive well in enclosed spaces. For this reason, they are kept in aquariums and zoos.

Lemon sharks are viviparous creatures, that is, the females directly transfer nutrients to their pups through a yolk shaped placenta and give birth to live juvenile lemon sharks.

The skin of female lemon sharks are almost three times thicker than that of males.

Although they do not directly attack humans, there have been cases of nonfatal wounds caused by this species. They are known to be a friendly species.

Lemon sharks have been known to display jealousy when divers give their attention to other shark species in the waters.

Why is it called a lemon shark?

Lemon sharks that belong to the order Carcharhiniformes derive their unique name from the yellow brown skin that they possess, which helps them to camouflage in sandy sea grounds where they live.

What eats lemon sharks?

An adult lemon shark is at the top of the food chain, that is, they prey on other smaller marine animals, although occasionally, baby yellow sharks have been threatened by other larger predators, that is why they are kept in their nurseries guarded by the females for several years. The main threat to lemon sharks are human beings who kill them for their dorsal fin, a ritual known as shark finning, where several groups believe that shark fin soup is the key to cure many diseases.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including black dragonfish, or barramundi.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Lemon Shark coloring pages.

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