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Author: Günther, 1866

Field Marks:
Very short barbels, nasoral grooves present but no perinasal grooves, mouth well in front of eyes, spiracles minute, precaudal tail shorter than head and body, two spineless, broadly rounded, equal-sized dorsal fins and an equally large anal fin, caudal fin short, less than 1/4 of total length, colour dark brown, without spots or other markings.

Diagnostic Features:
Nasal barbels very short, not reaching mouth; tooth crowns very narrow, cusps large and cusplets very small. Origin of first dorsal fin about over pelvic insertions; second dorsal and anal fins about as large as first dorsal; caudal fin short, less than 1/4 of total length.

Geographical Distribution:
Western Indian Ocean: Tanzania, Kenya, and possibly Mauritius and the Scychelles.

Habitat and Biology:
An apparently common but little known inshore bottom shark of the continental and insular shelves of East Africa. Its breeding and feeding habits are unknown.

Size:
Maximum total length about 75 cm; adult males 59 to 75 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
Probably limited, possibly fished locally in artisanal fisheries. Hide exceptionally tough, as in G. cirratum, and possibly of use for leather.

Remarks:
The writer examined the holotype in the British Museum (Natural History) and five other specimens in the collections of the J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology, Grahamstown, South Africa.

Type material:
Holotype: British Museum (Natural History), BMNH-1867.3.9.423, stuffed dried adolescent male about 590 mm long; length in original account 640 mm. Type Locality: Zanzibar.

Short-tail nurse shark (Ginglymostoma brevicaudatum)