Zebra (Leopard) Shark
Leopard sharks have a long cylindrical body, with a short blunt snout and a flattened head. The small eyes are located to the sides of the head.
The nostrils have short downward pointing barbels with a groove running to the mouth. There are up to 30 rows of small teeth in both the upper and lower jaws.
Adult Leopard sharks have been known to reach 3 metres in size. They have 5 horizontal ridges along their long cylindrical bodies and their spot markings are so varied between adults that it is possible to identify individuals.
Juvenile leopard sharks have a different colour pattern entirely, they have light zebra stripes on a dark background, slowly changing to leopard-like spots when they reach 50 - 90 cm in length.
Leopard Sharks are strong and agile swimmers, propelling themselves with their long powerful tails which make up nearly 50% of their total length.
Nocturnal feeders, Zebra Sharks hunt for crustaceans, small fish and molluscs amongst the reef and sandy bottoms at night.
During the day they spend their time resting on the seafloor. You may see them propped up on their large broad pectoral fins facing the current in channels.
A male zebra shark will chase and bite the females fins during mating. He will wrap his body around hers and insert one of his claspers into her cloaca.
Females may lay up to 40 - 50 egg capsules in batches of around 4, over a period of 100 days.
The large egg capsules are around 6cm long, 7cm wide and approximately 5 cm thick. The egg case is a dark brown colour with hair-like fibres which allow the eggs to be attached to the substrate.
After a gestation period of up to 6 months the 10 inch pups will hatch fully developed and independent.