Leopard Sharks Facts!

Leopard shark - Triakis semifasciata by brian.gratwicke cc2.0

Leopard Sharks Facts!

Leopard shark – Triakis semifasciata by brian.gratwicke cc2.0

The Leopard Shark is about four to five feet (1.2-1.5 meters) in length and is slender bodied with a short, round snout. Its body is covered in a very striking pattern of dark saddles and splotches which is why it is called the “leopard” shark. It prefers to live in muddy or sandy flats that are enclosed within bays and estuaries, and also near kelp beds, rocky reefs or the open coast areas. It is rather harmless to humans. The leopard shark is a type of hound shark.

Young leopard sharks frequent very shallow, coastal waters. Image credit: Sung Sook cc2.0

This shark species is ovoviviparous, meaning that the eggs of the female develop and hatch inside her and she gives birth to live baby sharks. The newborn sharks measure about 8 inches (20 centimeters) in length. Juvenile sharks grow very slowly and reach maturity after ten years.


The leopard shark captures prey with a combination of suction and biting. Image credit: Upsilon Andromedae cc2.0

The diet of the shark consists of clams, shrimp, crabs, octopus and bony fish. It utilizes a combination of sucking and biting to capture its prey. Larger sharks like the great white shark prey on the leopard shark.

Leopard Shark Videos

The YouTube video below contains a playlist of 4 videos about leopard sharks. The list of videos featured is underneath.

Click to go back to the book page and video list…
Sharks! Books

The Playlist:

  1. Leopard Sharks by Paris Hornsby. Snorkeling with leopard sharks in la jolla.
  2. Leopard sharks of La Jolla 2011 by Becky Kagan Schott. 4 species off La Jolla beach in San Diego: Leopard Sharks, Shovel nose, stingrays and eagle rays.
  3. Leopard Sharks at La Jolla Shores filmed on a GoPro HD by rticknor. Swimming with the leopard Sharks at La Jolla Shores.
  4. Local Legends: The Leopard Sharks of La Jolla Shores – Perspectives on Ocean Science. Join Andy Nosal, a Scripps Ph.D. student who studies local leopards, to find out what scientists really think is going on with the leopard sharks at La Jolla Shores.


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