Identity card

LATIN NAME: Triakis semifasciata ou semifasciatus

FAMILY: Triakidae

PHYLUM: Chordata

CLASS: Chondrichthyes

The leopard shark lives along the western coast of the North American continent. It can be found swimming in kelp forests.

The leopard shark lives on sandy, rocky bottoms and in kelp forests in cold temperate waters, to depths of around 100 metres.

It feeds on small bony fishes and their eggs, cartilaginous fishes, crustaceans, molluscs and worms. These sharks suck in their prey rather than biting it.

They measure on average between 1 m and 1.3 m. They are often confused with the zebra shark.

  • Distribution :

    They are found along 6,000 km of the western seaboard of North America, from Oregon to the Gulf of California (Mexico).
  • IUCN Status :

    Least concern.

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Find out more about the Leopard shark

Like all sharks, leopard sharks have a sixth sense: electroreceptors that can detect weak electrical fields emitted by their prey.

They are not regarded as dangerous to humans. They rarely bite and then only if they feel threatened. However, their skin is highly prized and they are hunted by sports anglers in coastal waters, using rods or by underwater fishing.

NAUSICAA’s leopard sharks arrived 15 years ago. Some of them now measure over 1.5 metres.

Leopard sharks are ovoviviparous, meaning their eggs hatch inside the female’s body. The female gives birth to between 4 and 36 juveniles about 20 cm long. The gestation period is around one year.

Leopard sharks give birth to their young in shallow waters, sometimes less than one metre deep. These animals are also a favourite prey of big white sharks on the Pacific coast of North America.



Crédits photo du bandeau : © A.Rosenfeld
Crédits photo de la galerie : © Tewy Wiki / © NAUSICAA

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Every day, there are events focused on Nausicaa’s main species. With training and feeding sessions and talks on life in Europe’s largest aquarium, your visit will be a rich and entertaining experience!
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