Nurse sharks are hella cool.

I got a chance to visit an aquarium nearby and had the pleasure of meeting some beautiful, friendly, docile nurse sharks.  They were quite used to human attention and handling and held still for gentle petting.  Their skins are a lovely mix of red, purple and magenta, and feel a bit like very fine grit sand paper.  I was amazed to find that they can hold still in the water for so long as most sharks have to swim to keep breathing or they’ll suffocate.  Apparently the lucky nurse shark can chill because of an ability to pump water into its mouth and keep inhaling while still.  I was also surprised to see them in a pool surrounded by many playful cownose rays and sting rays (with stingers trimmed) flapping and darting about them.  I read that nurse sharks like to feed on these guys but maybe the sharks are so well fed, they don’t bother going after the rays.

If you have a day free, why not stop by your local aquarium, zoo, or reserve?  Your price of admission not only gives you access to see animals of great beauty and variety, but it also goes to support their care, animal research, and funding for environmental protection.