Lazy and sluggish during the day, the short-tail nurse shark typically lies motionless on the ocean floor, often congregating in small groups (6). At night, however, this nocturnal predator roams widely, foraging for ground-dwelling crustaceans, urchins, squid and octopuses. In common with other nurse sharks, it has unique feeding apparatus, with a small mouth and enlarged pharynx that allows the shark to feed with a suction method. Utilising this ability, the short-tail nurse shark will cup its mouth over a crevice or burrow to create a vacuum, and suck up its prey (3).
The breeding biology of the short-tail nurse shark is poorly understood, but in contrast with other nurse sharks, which give birth to live young, eggs laid by captive females indicate the species is oviparous. Captive individuals may live for up to 33 years, with maturity reached when around 56 centimetres in length (4).