10 key west sharks Ideas

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g You Should Know About Sharks In Key West

Aquarium Sharks

Guests can get up close and personal with one of the Florida Keys most common shark-the Nurse Shark. While learning about this unique species, guests can learn a little bit more about some of the outlandish myths surrounding sharks and what we can do to help and protect these important animals. After each presentation, 10 lucky guests will have the opportunity to feed one of our resident nurse sharks!

Sharks! Feeding and Conservation Tour

10:45am | 12:45pm | 2:45pm

With the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week gaining in popularity, it’s raised a lot of questions about sharks, their behavior and their habitat. For those afraid of the water or who live in landlocked cities and don’t experience the ocean every day, it seems to only amplify the fear and mystery surrounding sharks and their threat to mankind. Every summer, news watchers are alerted of shark attacks at local beaches that further stoke the hysteria. While there’s no doubt that sharks are the apex predator of the sea, they’re often misunderstood and unreasonably vilified.

Key West is a small island surrounded by both deep and shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s home to the third largest barrier reef in the world with a thriving marine ecosystem that makes for exciting snorkeling adventures. The ocean is a shark’s natural habitat, so this creature can be found in the waters of Key West. But before you go running back to shore with the Jaws theme song playing in your head, slow down and learn about the sharks of Key West and how to stay safe while having fun.

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Types of Sharks Found in Key West

The most common type of shark in Key West is the nocturnal, docile nurse shark. If you’re out on a snorkel or dive trip, you have a good chance of spotting one of these sharks snoozing on the seafloor underneath a coral ledge. Although they may appear sluggish, nurse sharks slurp up bottom-dwelling organisms in their bellows-like mouths with amazing speed. They feed mostly at night on spiny lobsters and other crustaceans, small stingrays, sea urchins, squid and bony fishes.

They’re not predatory or aggressive. They are light yellowish-brown to dark brown in color and sometimes with small dark spots. It has a flattened body and a broad, rounded head with two conspicuous barbels between the nostrils, which are used to help find food. The mouth is filled with rows of small, serrated teeth for crushing hard-shelled prey. If you spot one while in the water, enjoy the view from a safe distance before they swim away from sight. Their strong jaw can certainly do some damage though, so don’t do anything that would make it strike out in self-defense.

Nurse Shark on the Ocean Floor
Nurse Shark on the Ocean Floor mobile

The sandbar shark gets its common name from the sandy and muddy flats, bays and estuaries in which it’s commonly found. The sandbar shark can be recognized by its large first dorsal fin, large pectoral fins and mid-dorsal ridge.

The diet of a sandbar shark typically consists of small bony fishes like menhaden, croaker, snapper, mojarras, as well as crustaceans such as crabs and shrimp.

Image a Sandbar Shark
Image a Sandbar Shark mobile

The blacknose shark has a greenish-gray colored body with a white/ yellow colored belly. Tips of dorsal fin and upper lobe of caudal fin are black or dusky colored and it has black spot below the snout, which give it the name “blacknose shark.” Blacknose sharks are quick swimmers that feed on pinfish, porcupine fish, box fish, puffer fish, anchovies and even octopus.

Blacknose shark in the ocean
Blacknose shark in the ocean mobile

The lemon shark is yellow in color which is where the name derives from. They mainly stay close to the surface of the water. Because of their poor eyesight, lemon sharks depend on the magnetic sensor in their nose which allows them to attract prey and to find others to mate with.

Lemon sharks mainly feed on small prey that aren’t able to put up much of a fight. When meat can’t be readily found, the lemon shark will feed on mollusks and crustaceans. They don’t require a large volume of food due to their small size so they can go quite a while without feeding.

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Image a Lemon Shark
Image a Lemon Shark mobile

Know the Facts

In Key West, there has never been a fatal shark attack, and there’s only been one incident reported in the record books since the 1800s. For those who like statistics, you’re 45,000 times more likely to die from a car accident than from a shark attack.

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Extra Information About key west sharks That You May Find Interested

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Everything You Should Know About Sharks In Key West

Everything You Should Know About Sharks In Key West

  • Author: keywestaquarium.com

  • Rating: 3⭐ (461487 rating)

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  • Sumary: Learn fun facts, common misconceptions, and different types of sharks. This informative guide covers everything you should know about sharks in Key West.

  • Matching Result: Tiger Shark · Hammerhead SHark · Bull Shark · Lemon Shark · Reef SHark · Black Tip Shark · Mako Shark · Dusky Shark.

  • Intro: Everything You Should Know About Sharks In Key West Aquarium Sharks Guests can get up close and personal with one of the Florida Keys most common shark-the Nurse Shark. While learning about this unique species, guests can learn a little bit more about some of the outlandish myths surrounding sharks…
  • Source: https://www.keywestaquarium.com/sharks-in-key-west

Frequently Asked Questions About key west sharks

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic key west sharks, then this section may help you solve it.

Does Key West have a lot of sharks?

We see sharks at the reef at least once a week, and probably more often than that. Should I be scared? No, seeing a shark while snorkeling in Key West is not a given, but it does happen more frequently than you might think.

The Keys are home to great white sharks, right?

Don Gates and Angie Gonder, who tag fish for the Dolphin Research Program, were out fishing on Monday afternoon when they came across a great white, which they were able to film in a “breathtaking” encounter.

Do sharks pose a threat to the Florida Keys?

Yes, there are sharks in the Florida Keys. It’s common to catch nurse sharks while fishing on the flats. Since these bottom dwellers are normally docile and only become aggressive when provoked, there’s no need to be alarmed if you see one while snorkeling or scuba diving.

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Are there issues with sharks in Key West?

Know the Facts: There has never been a fatal shark attack in Key West, and there has only ever been one incident that has been documented since the 1800s.

In Key West, is the ocean swimmable?

The beaches of Key West are some of the most well-liked spots on this tropical island paradise, with temperate waters and more than 3,400 hours of sunshine annually. You can enjoy the sun, sand, and warm water as well as a variety of activities like swimming, snorkeling, and fishing.

Crocodiles are there in Key West?

However, if you travel about 45 minutes up the Keys to an island called Big Pine, which has the largest freshwater lense in the Lower Keys, and head to the “Blue Hole,” you’ll likely see American alligators. Key West occasionally receives American crocodiles, which are more at home in our saltwater canals than ‘gators.

Is snorkeling safe in Key West?

Any water sport carries some level of risk, and snorkeling is no different. The coral reefs are living, and they contain dangerous sea creatures, as well as other risks that can exist in that environment. Nevertheless, snorkeling in the Florida Keys is generally considered to be safe.

When you go snorkeling, do you see sharks?

Sharks are generally not dangerous, and even if they approach you, they will swim away without showing aggression or interest if you don’t threaten them or try to hold onto their food. Reef and nurse sharks are the most common shark species people see while snorkeling.

Are great whites present in Key West?

The large migratory predators prefer cooler water and are just passing through when they are spotted in South Florida, so great whites in the Florida Keys can be a rare sight. However, when they do show up, most anglers, divers, and others on the water view it as a treat.

How come you can’t swim in Key West?

A stunning live coral reef that stretches from Key Largo to the Dry Tortugas National Park prevents natural beach formation because the waves don’t crash onshore as they might in Miami beach, which is why Key West lacks a soft, white sand shoreline.

Why doesn’t Key West have any beaches?

The coral reefs we enjoy as snorkelers and scuba divers prevent the erosion and sand from building up along the shore, so the Keys don’t have wide sandy beaches. Nevertheless, the Keys do have some pretty special beaches, even though they don’t make the Keys unique.

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