Fun Nervous Shark Facts For Kids

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Feb 20, 2024 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Read these nervous shark facts to learn more about this shark.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.1 Min

The nervous shark (Carcharhinus cautus) is from the family Carcharhinidae and genus Carcharhinus and is found in northern Australia, Shark Bay, Moreton Bay, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea range. The habitat of this species consists of insular and continental shelves and tends to inhabit inshore waters and is found at the depth of around 148 ft (45 m). The reproduction of this requiem shark is just like other requiem sharks, that is, viviparous. To begin mating, a male tends to bite on the sides of the female and after mating or copulation, the sperm is stored for about four weeks. Mating takes place from January to March in Darwin Harbor and the gestation period takes place for about eight to nine months and birthing takes place in October and November. Mating can also take place from October to November and birthing also occurs around this time and the gestation period takes place for about 11 months. The litter size can range from one to six. The shape of the body of this species is stout and the snout is short and also rounded. The dorsal fins, the first one, is known to originate from the tip of the pectoral fins and the second one is located opposite the anal fin. The caudal fin is known to be asymmetrical. The color of this species ranges from gray to bronze on the upper body and white below. Females tend to be larger than males. These species tend to feed on small fishes, crustaceans, and mollusks. As this shark species has a timid behavior, it is of no harm to humans instead is vary of humans and thus, is named so. It is very similar in appearance to a blacktip reef shark.

It is very gripping to read and learn about this species and if you like, read about the reef shark and the spinner shark, too.

Nervous Shark Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a nervous shark?

The nervous shark is species of shark.

What class of animal does a nervous shark belong to?

It is classified under the class of Chondrichthyes.

How many nervous sharks are there in the world?

There is no exact estimation available for the total global population of this shark.

Where does a nervous shark live?

The geographic range of the nervous shark (Carcharhinus cautus) consists of northern Australia, Shark Bay, Moreton Bay, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea.

What is a nervous shark's habitat?

The habitat of the nervous shark consists of insular and continental shelves and tends to inhabit inshore waters and is found at the depth of around 148 ft (45 m). This shark has been observed to avoid heavy seagrass cover and prefers muddy or sandy bottoms with mangrove-lined regions.  

Who do nervous sharks live with?

Not much is known about the nervous sharks living alone or in groups, but sharks, in general, are known to be solitary.

How long does a nervous shark live?

The lifespan for the males and females tends to differ and the maximum life expectancy for males is 12 years and for females is 16 years.

How do they reproduce?

The reproduction of the nervous shark is viviparous like all other requiem sharks and does not lay eggs. After the exhaustion of the supply of yolk, it is provided with nutrition through the placental connection by the mother. Adult females tend to have two uteruses and one functional ovary. To begin mating, the males tend to bite on the sides of the female and after mating or copulation, the sperm is stored for about four weeks. Mating takes place from January to March in Darwin Harbor and the gestation period takes place for about eight to nine months and birthing takes place in October and November. Mating can also take place from October to November and birthing also occurs around this time and the gestation period takes place for about 11 months. Litters are produced annually in Darwin Harbor and biennially in Shark Bay. The maturity age for males is four years and for females is six years.

What is their conservation status?

These sharks are placed under the Least Concern category of conservation status.

Nervous Shark Fun Facts

What do nervous sharks look like?

The body of this shark species is known to be stout and axle-shaped and has a rounded and short snout. The frontal part of each nostril extends into a slim lobe that is considered to be nipple-shaped. The eyes of this shark are medium-large and the shape of the eyes is oval and horizontal and is known to have nictitating membranes. There are 25-30 and 23-28 upper and lower tooth rows, respectively. The upper teeth tend to have serrated edges and are known to be angled and lean, whereas, the lower teeth are more uptight and have serrations that are finer as compared to the upper teeth. The length of the gill slits is medium and there are five pairs. The pectoral fins of this shark are long and narrow and are also pointed. The dorsal fin, the first one, is known to originate from the tip of the pectoral fins and the second one is located opposite the anal fin. The caudal fin is known to be asymmetrical. The color of this requiem shark is gray to bronze on the upper part and white on the under part and has a white streak on the flank. On the margins of the dorsal fins, upper caudal fin, and pectoral fin there is a black line and is thin and the lower caudal fin has a black tip. Females tend to be larger than males.

Incredible Nervous Shark Facts

*Please note that this is an image of a blacktip reef shark, not a nervous shark. If you have an image of a nervous shark, please let us know at hello@kidadl.com.

How cute are they?

These sharks are not considered cute.

How do they communicate?

Sharks in general are known to communicate through visual cues like arching their bodies and also through vibrations in the water.

How big is a nervous shark?

The nervous shark is known to grow up to 5 ft (1.5 m), but the length can range typically around 3.3–4.3 ft (1–1.3 m). It is smaller than a Caribbean reef shark and larger than a bull shark.

How fast can a nervous shark swim?

In general, sharks are known to swim at a slow speed of about 1.5 mph (2.4 kph).

How much does a nervous shark weigh?

The exact weight of this shark is unavailable.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males and females of this species do not have any names.

What would you call a baby nervous shark?

A baby shark is called a pup.

What do they eat?

The diet of the nervous shark is carnivorous and it tends to feed on small fishes or teleost fishes like silversides, wrasses, grunters, and smelt-whitings. The food also consists of crustaceans like mantis shrimps, crabs, and prawns and also mollusks like cephalopods, gastropods, and bivalves. It has been observed that this shark can also sometimes prey on some aquatic snakes like Fordonia leucobalia and Cerberus rynchops.

Are they dangerous?

This shark species is considered to be harmless to humans as it is a shy one and tends to avoid humans.

Would they make a good pet?

Not a lot of information is available about the nervous shark as a pet. It can be assumed that it would not make a good pet and should be left in its natural habitat in the ocean.

Did you know...

The name nervous shark is given to this shark because of its timid behavior or nature.

This shark is considered to be the only shark that is scared of humans.

This shark is incidentally caught by trawl and line fisheries and also by coastal gillnet fisheries.

It is believed that this shark is a close relative of the blacktip reef shark and tends to look very similar to that species.

This shark is known to be traded for food.

The black-mouth catshark is known to have no teeth or skin.

Sharks are afraid or rather avoid or escape from dolphins as dolphins tend to attack in pods and dolphins are also considered to be faster than sharks.

What is unusual about a nervous shark?

The fact that this shark is scared of humans, unlike other sharks, that the second dorsal fin of this shark is considered to be comparatively high and large, and the upright and slender shape of its lower teeth are all unusual things about this shark.

Is the nervous shark endemic?

Yes, the nervous shark is endemic, that is, it is native to the waters surrounding northern Australia.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our sprat facts and sawfish facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable nervous shark coloring pages.

*Please note that the main image is of a blacktip reef shark, not a nervous shark. If you have an image of a nervous shark, please let us know at hello@kidadl.com.
 

Nervous Shark Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Small fish and crustaceans

What Type of Animal were they?

Carnivore

Average Litter Size?

1-6

How Much Did They Weigh?

N/A

What habitat Do they Live In?

inshore waters

Where Do They Live?

australia

How Long Were They?

3.3–4.3 ft (1–1.3 m)

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Class

Chondrichthyes

Genus

Carcharhinus

Family

Carcharhinidae

Scientific Name

Carcharhinus cautus

What Do They Look Like?

Bronze, gray, white

Skin Type

Wet and slimy scales

What Are Their Main Threats?

n/a

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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