Sharks don’t always get the best reputation, given their ability to end a person’s life unprovoked. However, not all of these creatures are vicious and crave human blood. The lemon shark is the perfect example of that. While its name might suggest otherwise, the lemon shark isn’t as bitter as it sounds.
Lemon sharks are named as such because of their yellowish hue
When people typically think of sharks, they conjure up images of great whites, which makes sense given they’re considered the most aggressive sharks in the world. However, just like humans, not all sharks look the same. They can be different shapes, sizes, and colors, too, hence why the lemon shark has the name it does. They have a yellowish hue that helps them blend in with the seafloor, making it easier to catch prey.
Lemon sharks eat crustaceans, bony fish, and their own kind
People usually steer clear of sharks because their apparent taste for humans makes them some of the most dangerous animals on the planet. However, this isn’t something you have to worry about with lemon sharks. They’d much rather chow down on one of their own before eating a human. Yes, lemon sharks will sometimes eat other smaller lemon sharks, along with crustaceans and bony fish.
Lemon sharks typically swim in subtropical shallow water
Of course, just because lemon sharks don’t go hunting for humans, that doesn’t mean you’re entirely safe around them. There have been incidents of lemon shark attacks in the past, but only a handful. What’s more, none of them were fatal. Generally speaking, unless you catch them by surprise, they’re not likely to lash out. Just be aware that they tend to swim in shallow waters in subtropical coastal areas. So, if you’re in the vicinity, try not to spook anything lurking underwater.
Lemon sharks offer researchers a lot to work with
Not only are lemon sharks unlikely to attack humans, but they’re also apparently pretty helpful for researchers trying to learn more about sharks in general. They reportedly cope well in captivity and are a useful model for studies on things like physiology, ecology, and behavior. There’s still so much we don’t know about sharks, or which we’ve only recently learned, like how they navigate using the Earth’s magnetic field.
Lemon sharks can be social creatures, but less so when they’re older
Lemon sharks might not shy away from eating their own kind, but that doesn’t mean they are all out for themselves. There’s apparently growing evidence that lemon sharks are pretty social creatures, although this tends to diminish with age. It’s the younger lemon sharks that are most often seen hanging around in groups, which researchers speculate to be a defensive measure. Many animals use defense mechanisms to get rid of predators, so it’s perhaps no shock that even creatures like sharks would have something to keep them safe.
So, there you have it. While lemon sharks can technically attack, there are far more dangerous creatures in the ocean. These sharks aren’t here to cause anyone any trouble.