Leopard Shark

Leopard Shark (Triakis semifasciata) as seen in our Passages of the Deep exhibit.

Perhaps one of the most strikingly beautiful sharks found along the West Coast of North America, the Leopard Shark is easily identified by the variegated pattern of bars and spots which extend all along its body. This unique natural camouflage helps this shark hide in the dappled sunlight that filters through the offshore kelp forests or along the rocky seabed. Leopard sharks are highly nomadic, often traveling great distances without ever revisiting the same spot twice. They are also a particularly ancient species, with fossilized examples dating back over one million years.

Range and Habitat

The Leopard Shark is a wide-ranging animal, found throughout the Pacific Ocean. In Oregon it can be found as far north as Coos Bay where it favors muddy flats and estuaries. It can also be found near kelp forest, rocky reefs or cruising in the open sea.

Conservation Status

Common.

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