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Only Atlantic species (Ginglymostoma cirratum) of 25 carpet shark species (family Orectolobidae). Yellow- or gray-brown, sometimes with dark spots, it may grow to over 13 ft (4 m) long. It may attack swimmers, especially when provoked, but is not related to the dangerous gray nurse (Odontaspis arenarius), a sand shark.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on nurse shark, visit Britannica.com.