Swimming with Lemon Sharks & Nurse Sharks in the Exumas, Bahamas

I loved sharing the water with these stunning Lemon Sharks (and one beautiful Nurse Shark!) here in the Exuma Cays of the Bahamas. ?

Adult Lemon Sharks grow to 11 feet in length and about 420 pounds in weight, but these guys are only around 5 feet long. Lemon Sharks are named for their unusual yellow color.

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. They feed on catfish, mullet, jacks, stingrays, eagle rays, crabs, and crayfish. On occasion lemon sharks will also eat sea birds and other smaller sharks.

Unlike most other sharks, Lemon Sharks are often 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.

Since these sharks are non-aggressive towards humans, they are very popular with shark divers. There has never been a recorded fatality due to a Lemon Shark bite anywhere on Earth, and most bites that do occur (only 10 times in history) are the result of the shark being spooked.

Sadly, the lemon shark is targeted by commercial and recreational fishermen along the U.S. Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean due to its prized meat, fins, and skin. Lemon shark skin may be used for leather and its meat can be consumed. Concern exists that over-fishing has led the lemon shark populations in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to decline.

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