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nurse shark

any of several sharks of the family Orectolobidae, especially Ginglymostoma cirratum, occurring in shallow waters from Rhode Island to Brazil and the Gulf of California to Ecuador.
Origin of nurse shark
1850-55; allegedly so called because the male habitually hangs on to the female's fin with his teeth Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for nurse-shark

nurse shark

any of various sharks of the family Orectolobidae, such as Ginglymostoma cirratum of the Atlantic Ocean, having an external groove on each side of the head between the mouth and nostril
Word Origin
C15: nusse fisshe (later influenced in spelling by nurse), perhaps from division of obsolete an huss shark, dogfish (of uncertain origin) as a nuss
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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