Lemon Shark: Description, Distribution, & Fun Facts

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Lemon Shark: All You Need To Know

Lemon shark, belongs to the kingdom Animalia, phylum Chordata, family, Carcharhinidea and class Chrondrichthyes. It’s neither a huge or a small size fish, it’s a mediums size fish, which is seen in North and South America’s Atlantic and pacific coast and as well as Africa’s west coast.

It preys on fishes smaller than them and consume fishes travelling in groups. The shark is so called because of its yellow color, which helps in camouflaging at the bottom of shallow waters.

Lemon Shark

Lemon Shark Description

Lemon sharks do have gestation period and produce offspring and thus are viviparous. The offspring are just a foot in length and are born near the mangroves, as they mangrove shores have branched system where there is huge amount of food as there are many small fishes and no chances of getting hunted. After the lemon sharks, starts to mature they will move to the shallow waters.

Lemon Shark

The hunting by lemon shark takes place cordially and they search for coral reef during the dusk. Lemon shark hunts in group, where one shark will scare the other fish which is asleep and the other one will catch hold of it.

While killing as the blood is liberated in water, many more sharks will come and will kill more fishes and everyone will fill their stomach and in groups, they are effective in hunting preys and is benefitted to all sharks.

Lemon Shark

Although sharks have injured the divers, but they are not aggressive as they only bite them, when they come in close proximity to them. However, humans are creating problem to the babies of lemon shark with the disruption of mangroves. Thus, because of this they are classified as near threatened.

Fun Facts About Lemon Shark!

They possess plenty of interesting fun facts and they are as follows:

i. Apex Predators as Ecological Indicators

After the sharks are completely matured, they are apex predators, which states, that they are at the top of the food chain. In the food chain, only a particular amount of energy is moved from lower level to the upper level, thus ecologist can determine the number of organism below, by counting the apex predators.

Lemon shark is considered as the marine environment indicator species. Thus, if their population falls down it can be very critical to the entire ecosystem. By just losing a single shark, the other levels may lose few or hundreds or thousands of another organism.

Majorly the loss is due to disruption of mangroves, which is the most vital nursery of marine ecosystem. However, if there is an increase in the number of lemon shark species, it indicates that the ecosystem is functioning well and is healthy.

ii. Mangrove Nurseries

As the young one’s are quite small, thus there are huge chances of them getting preyed, thus, the most suitable habitat for them is the mangrove shores, which are plants and surround the island. As the mangrove system possess branching system, thus acting as a barrier, which will protect them from larger organism from entering this way.

Thus, mangroves are the regulators of the larger ecosystem. Various types of organism start their lives from the mangroves. As all the organism are the smaller type of their mature forms, thus the mangrove is the smaller version of the ocean’s ecology. Young lemon shark spend many years at the coastline of mangroves before maturing.

iii. Shark Finning

There is a myth which has been believed by several people that fins of shark have the ability to cure diseases when consumed in the form of soup. Thus, for this purpose shark species were being hunted at a huge rate. According to the myth, only the shark’s fins are useful.

Thus, with the help of fishing gears and ropes, shark’s fins are trimmed and are then left bleeding. As the fins are not present they cannot swim, thus not able to obtain oxygen from the gills and die to hypoxia condition, they die. The soup of shark’s fin is drunk as a tasty appetite; however, its beneficial properties have not been studied.

Although there is a fact that states, apex predator organism should not be eaten with the various food chain levels, toxins gather up in all these levels and once eaten can result in being ill.

Lemon Shark Citations
  • Phylogeny of immunoglobulin structure and function. I. Immunoglobulins of the lemon shark. J Exp Med . 1967 May 1;125(5):893-920.
  • Meningoencephalitis with chondrocranial subcutaneous abscessation and septicaemia in a captive lemon shark (Negaprion brevirostris). J Fish Dis . 2021 Jan;44(1):113-117.
  • Vertical Pupil in a Lemon Shark. Ophthalmology . 2021 Feb;128(2):316.
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