Leopard Shark

Triakis semifasciata

Body Length:Males: 2'4"–3'11"; females: 3'7"–4'4"
Weight:Up to 41 lbs
Geographic Distribution:Cool to temperate water along the northeastern coast of the Pacific Ocean from Oregon to Mazatlan, Mexico, including the northern part of the Gulf of California
Habitat:At or near the bottom of shallow waters in bays and estuaries, but also in offshore waters; typically at a depth of approximately 13 feet, although they have been recorded as deep as 299 feet
Wild Diet:Small animals that live on the sea floor or in shallow water near the shore; typically crabs, clams, shrimp, bony fish, and fish eggs
Status in the Wild:Least Concern
Location:The Living Coast

The leopard shark has a relatively thick body. The nose is rounded. The color of the shark's back varies from silvery to a bronzed gray, with black saddle-shaped markings and large black spots. Adult sharks often have more spots and saddles than juveniles. The belly is whitish without other markings. The eyes are large and oval and the shark has a nictitating membrane (a transparent or translucent third eyelid that can be drawn across the eye for protection while maintaining visibility). Both jaws have two rows of teeth, with a greater number of teeth in the upper jaw. The teeth are arranged into a flat surface with overlapping ridges. The large first dorsal fin is about halfway between the pectoral and pelvic fins. The second dorsal fin is almost as large as the first and is located beyond the pelivic fins. The lower lobe of the caudal fin in adults is much smaller than the upper lobe.