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Victoria: A Shark on the Critical List - The Grey Nurse Shark (Carcharias taurus)
Mark Rodrigue, MESA Victoria

Going Further: Grey Nurse Shark Exploration activities

1. Shark sizes: Using a good reference book find out the sizes of different types of sharks. Have students line up and then have different students pace out the length of different species. Compared to other sharks is the Grey Nurse Shark large or small?

2. The teeth of Grey Nurse Shark are quite distinctive. Use the internet to collect pictures of different types of shark jaws. Put these pictures into a table and list next to the jaws the type of food that the shark eats. How many of these are fish eaters like the Grey Nurse Shark?

3. The Grey Nurse Shark was one of the first sharks in the world to be protected. What other sharks around the world are protected and why? What things are done to protect these animals and prevent them from becoming extinct?

Image courtesy Aengus Moran

For Further Information

• Commonwealth of Australia. 2002. Recovery Plan for the Grey Nurse Shark (Carcharias taurus) in Australia, Environment Australia
• Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens (1994), Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO.
• Lumnitzer, A. 2000.The grey nurse shark. Fish & Critters. Sport Diving. December / January 2000-2001(p86-87).


Environment Australia: This site has a range of information on Grey Nurse Sharks including the Recovery Plan. Links are also provided to current research including tagging studies.

IUCN Red List: This list includes all species of animals and plants that are listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature

Museum of Victoria – This link takes visitors to the page that describes the record of the Grey Nurse Shark jaws collected from Port Phillip Bay.

Melbourne Aquarium: Search the site for a fact sheet with pictures on the Grey Nurse Shark. Also on the site is video footage showing the reproductive anatomy of the Grey Nurse Shark.

Fish Rocks Dive Centre: video footage of Grey Nurse Sharks in one of NSW’s protected areas

Forster Dive Centre: A collection of diver images (some quite disturbing) that show Grey Nurse Sharks with attached fishing equipment including lures, traces, and gaffs.

Search site

A Bad Reputation ....... But Not Deserved!
Slow to Breed
Threats to the Grey Nurse Shark
A Sixth Sense!
Baby cannibals!
Where can you see them?
What can we do to protect the Grey Nurse Shark from becoming extinct?
Going Further: Grey Nurse Shark Exploration activities
For Further Information
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