The Lemon Shark, also known as the Negaprion Brevirostris, is the best known and most researched of all sharks. Unlike most sharks, the Lemon is able to handle captivity for extended periods of time. Therefore, scientists have had the opportunity to observe their behavior like no other shark.
An adult Lemon Shark is usually about 3.5 meters (11 feet) in length and about 190 kilograms (about 420 pounds) in weight. It is named for its unusual and bright yellow or brown pigmentation and color.
The Lemon Shark loves the tropical and subtropical waters in coastal areas of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. They stay in moderately shallow water, normally going no deeper than 80 meters (roughly 260 feet). They are often found in shallow waters near coasts and islands, by coral reefs, mangroves, bays, and sometimes even river mouths.
Like all other shark species, they have electro receptors which allow them to track prey by the electric impulses that all living things emit.
In addition to using electro receptors, they also have an astounding olfactory sense through magnetic sensors in their nose. This helps make up for their very poor vision.
Because this shark is a bottom dweller, they often track their prey by churning up the ground for bony fish, rays, crustaceans, and sometimes even seabirds.
This is a very social species. They are often seen in groups and have a structured hierarchy system based on size and sex. They generally don’t show any aggressive behavior with each other and coordinate in groups for hunting purposes in places the hierarchy is strictly followed.
This species is known for migrating from area to area and often wander hundreds of kilometers through the Ocean to reach mating locations.
Since they are viviparous, females give birth to live pups. Typically, the birthing cycle lasts for one year and they give birth to between 5 and 20 living pups at a time.
Young pups stay close to lagoons and reefs for shelter and protection. When they reach adulthood, around 10 to 15 years old, they migrate into deeper seas.
Since these sharks are gentle animals and generally non-aggressive towards humans, they are very popular shark divers. There has never been a recorded fatality due to a Lemon Shark bite and most bites are the result of the shark being spooked. The majority of the time, these sharks are gentle and tend to avoid conflict.