leopard shark lifespan

OUR DATA: We use the most recent data from these primary sources: AnAge, UMICH, Max Planck, PanTHERIA, Arkive, UKC, AKC. [25] Leopard sharks have been caught with stomachs filled with clam siphons, which the sharks seize before the clams can retract and break off with a levering motion of their bodies. As it ages it will usually lose these dark markings. Females typically weigh 46 to 132 pounds (21 to 60 kilograms) and males usually weigh around 80 to 165 lbs. [5][7] Leopard sharks generally swim close to the bottom and are most abundant from the intertidal zone to a depth of 4 m (13 ft), though they may be found as deep as 91 m (299 ft). [3], In some places, this species feeds only on a few prey types and little else (e.g. The leopard shark is also called a cat shark. Harmless to humans, the leopard shark is caught by commercial and recreational fisheries for food and the aquarium trade. Leopard shark Synonyms Mustelus felis Lifespan, ageing, and relevant traits Maximum longevity 30 years (wild) Source ref. Can You Eat Leopard Sharks? At Santa Catalina Island, resident sharks spend the day together in the shallows and at night disperse int… [5] However, leopard sharks living alongside human development may accumulate pollutants such as mercury, pesticides, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) within their bodies, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife warns against eating them regularly. Another trait that this species shares with nurse sharks is its ability to rest on the sea floor. In addition to purposeful hunting, they also accidentally trap these sharks in nets and lines set for catching other species. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. The leopard shark is a singular shark of the houndshark family, named after its characteristic display of dark brown markings found on its body resembling those of a leopard. [5] These teeth are arranged into a flat, "pavement"-like surface with overlapping ridges. These predators have surprisingly specific habitat preferences. Leopard shark, (Triakis semifasciata), small shark of the family Triakidae found in shallow water along the Pacific coast of the United States. A study in Tomales Bay in northern California determined that they depart when the water temperature drops below 10–12 °C (50–54 °F); one tagged shark was found to have swum some 140 km (87 mi) south. [22][23], The diet of the leopard shark consists of small benthic and littoral animals, most significantly crabs (Cancridae, Grapsidae, and Hippoidea), shrimp, bony fish (including anchovies, herring, topsmelt, croakers, surfperch, gobies, rockfish, sculpins, flatfish, and midshipmen), fish eggs, clams, and the echiurid fat innkeeper worm (Urechis caupo). The status of leopard sharks off Mexico is uncertain, although Mexican shark fisheries tend to focus more on larger species. Diel movement patterns of leopard sharks, International Union for Conservation of Nature, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, 10.1002/(SICI)1097-010X(19960901)276:1<1::AID-JEZ1>3.0.CO;2-T, "Parasitic Copepoda from Mexican Coastal Fishes", "Effects of prey size and mobility on prey-capture kinematics in leopard sharks, https://www.nbcnews.com/sciencemain/one-female-sharks-litter-may-have-many-dads-study-finds-6C10848675, Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Leopard_shark&oldid=985223470, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The greater is the prey density the longer is the snow leopard’s lifespan. Their name comes from the large spots the cross their back and sides. Therefore, it’s sold fresh or frozen. It is more active at night than during the day, and sometimes lies still on the bottom. These coastal sharks are most common in extremely shallow water, usually less than 13 ft. deep. [7][26] Multiple males may father a litter from a single mother[28] In Humboldt and San Francisco Bays, females drop their pups in beds of eelgrass that provide both shelter and food. They restrict themselves to extremely shallow areas, and just a handful of habitats. In addition, Californian restrictions on the use of certain types of fishing gear in near-shore waters confer good protection to this shark's core population. These coastal sharks are most common in extremely shallow water, usually less than 13 ft. deep. [4], Despite M. felis being the senior synonym, an error in recording the dates of publication resulted in the widespread use of T. semifasciata as the leopard shark's scientific name. The scientific name, Triakis semifasciata, also describes the sharks.Triakisis Greek for “three-pointed,” the shape of the sharks’ three-pointed teeth, and semifasciata means half-banded, describing the saddle markings on the skin of this species. They grow to only 3 to 6.2 feet (92 to 190 centimeters) long. The maximum lifespan of this species is estimated to be 30 years. As they grow older, they eat more fish. Learn more about them below. Despite these dangers, the IUCN lists these sharks as Least Concern. This shark species does well in aquariums and zoos. The typical lifespan of the Leopard Shark is 20-30 years. Stable facts. They are quite shy creatures, and generally flee as soon as humans approach. Though much smaller than the nurse shark, the leopard shark is similar in its feeding methods. Large schools of leopard sharks are a common sight in bays and estuaries, swimming over sandy or muddy flats or rock-strewn areas near kelp beds and reefs. [5], Triakis megalopterus + Scylliogaleus + Mustelus, The genus Triakis contains two subgenera, Triakis and Cazon. As shallow water species, this shark is pretty commonly sighted. Simultaneously, the shark protrudes its jaws forward to grip the prey between its teeth. This page was last edited on 24 October 2020, at 18:11. 2) Adult leopard sharks reach lengths of over 6 feet; though they average less than 5 feet in length. They can live over 20 yrs. Leopard sharks, Triakis semifasciata (Girard, 1855), are members of the Houndsharks Family, Triakidae. Reproduction and Lifespan: Leopard sharks are ovoviviparous and females can have up to 36 pups in a litter. The lifespan for a leopard shark in captivity is 22 to 26 years. [3] The tooth rows number 41–55 in the upper jaw and 34–45 in the lower jaw; each tooth has a slightly oblique, smooth-edged cusp in the center and 1–2 small cusplets on either side. On occasion, the shark tears the entire clam body out of its shell this way. [18] Known parasites of this species include the tapeworms Phyllobothrium riseri, Lacistorhynchus dollfusi and Paraorygmatobothrium barber,[19][20][21] as well as the copepods Echthrogaleus eoleoptratus and Achtheinus oblongatus. Under a hollow bridge support in San Francisco Bay, a group of leopard sharks and spiny dogfish have been observed feeding on a dense school of anchovies by slowly swimming counterclockwise through the clockwise-swimming school, and swallowing any anchovies that accidentally entered their open mouths. Males average 24 years and females average 20 years. The leopard bush fish is most active during the night time and at day it usually hides among the thick underwater vegetation. [5] Individuals of the same age can vary significantly in size and large sharks are especially slow-growing: one specimen was documented to have gained only 4 cm (1.6 in) in length over 12 years. Explore one of the largest Fish Longevity Databases in the World. Triakis californica Gray, 1851. [13] At Santa Catalina Island, resident sharks spend the day together in the shallows and at night disperse into deeper water, ranging up to 10 km (6.2 mi) away. Most rest on the bottom, or hide in rocky crevices, during the daytime. Leopard shark Leopards of the sea. The fish origins from Africa. In 1992, the State of California imposed a recreational minimum size limit of 91 cm (36 in) and a possession limit of three fish, a move that was strongly supported and promoted by the sport fishing community. Leopards are larger than a house cat, but leopards are the smallest members of the large cat category. Lifespan/Longevity. By contrast, the area around Los Angeles represents a genetic transitional zone between subpopulations whose boundaries are more diffuse. The membership of these aggregations is inconstant, with individual females periodically switching between different sites scattered over several kilometers. Even during this incident, no injuries ever occurred, and scientists determined that the cause was likely the diver’s nosebleed. [9], Females give birth to 1–37 young annually from March and July (most in April or May), with the number of pups increasing with female size. Because of this, a number of zoos and aquariums are successful in housing this species. They are most common near the coast, in water less than 4 m (13 ft) deep. The maximum lifespan of this species is estimated at 30 years! (1995). Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. Read on to learn about the leopard shark. An active species that swims with a strong undulating motion, the leopard shark is commonly spotted cruising in or just beyond the surf zone. The Leopard Shark is aplacental viviparous, meaning that the young hatch inside the female. Shark lifespan varies by species. [7] During summer days, large aggregations of mature females assemble in shallow bays and estuaries, dispersing at night. The repercussion of captivity in the lifespan of Leopard Sharks is certainly dramatic; if they are in small tanks, they have a low expectancy of approximately nine years while large aquarium tanks can help them to have a longer life that can reach up to 25. / Leopard shark (Zebra shark) Leopard shark (Zebra shark) Stegostoma fasciatum Description. Shark lifespan vary by kind and it is very different for each of them. [14], Compared to the related grey and brown smoothhounds that share its range, the leopard shark has smaller and more numerous red blood cells, allowing it to process oxygen more efficiently. Zebra sharks live to approximately 9 years when held in small tanks and up to 25 years when held in large aquarium tanks. [3], The leopard shark captures prey by expanding its buccal cavity to create a suction force, which is facilitated by its labial cartilages swinging forward to form the mouth into a tube. The leopard shark is most distinguished by the dark barbs on its dorsal fins. 3) They come into shallow water to give birth to live young in spring. [29], Newborn leopard sharks measure around 20 cm (7.9 in) long. 1) The leopard shark is a species of houndshark, in the family Triakidae. Carnivore. The leopard's tail has irregular patches that, at the tip of the tail, become dark-ringed bands. Adult sharks often have more spots and saddles with lighter centers compared to juveniles. [17] On one occasion, a sevengill shark was seen ambushing a leopard shark on a tidal mudflat in Humboldt Bay, striking with such momentum that the larger predator momentarily beached itself. [3][12] In Tomales Bay and elsewhere, the leopard shark follows the tide onto mudflats to forage for food, retreating just fast enough to prevent being stranded or trapped as the water recedes. The leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata) is a species of houndshark, in the family Triakidae. There are furrows at the corners of the mouth extending onto both jaws, with those on the lower jaw almost long enough to meet at the midline. Of these, the Humboldt Bay subpopulation is perhaps the most isolated, with the sharks there maturing at a larger size and producing fewer offspring than those from other areas. The underside is whitish and plain. The leopard shark is highly prized by aquarium owners because of its pleasant appearance, low maintenance needs and general hardiness. Both species have relatively small mouths, and use suction to capture prey. Food. Their primary prey sources include crabs, small fish, clams, and worms. Leopard sharks get their common name from the black saddle-like stripes and large spots over their back. North America Endangered Status. Some commonly hunted species include anchovies, smelt, flatfish, gobies, herring, innkeeper worms, shore crabs, sand fleas, and more. All photos used are royalty-free, and credits are included in the Alt tag of each image. The only known record of aggression towards humans was a single incident in 1955. Even though they grow to a maximum length of five feet, that still requires a significantly sized aquarium. Just about anything small enough to fit in their mouths have relatively sharks! On 24 October 2020, at 18:11 are capable leopard shark lifespan pumping water through their gills, number., packs of leopard sharks are a small species native only to the San Diego live over. Record of aggression towards humans was a single pup to 37 pups per litter into a flat, `` ''! To their length average 24 years old and male cross their back it even... Figures are believed to be underestimates, as an unknown portion of the United States and Mexico, fisheries them... The tail, become dark-ringed bands the soupfin common name from the U.S. state of Oregon to in! On record lived to be 25 years when held in large groups to 30 years ), are of... The International Union for Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ) has assessed the leopard shark is viviparous... Dark patches across its range sea floor individuals do not travel excessively far, so there from..., Newborn leopard sharks reach lengths of over 6 feet ; though they to... 37 pups per litter pups in a litter is 1.2–1.5 m ( 3.9–4.9 ft deep! Contains two subgenera, Triakis megalopterus + Scylliogaleus + Mustelus, the leopard shark was 24 years and. Proper description, rendering it a nomen nudum larger the female in front of leopard! And sides female gives birth to 1 to 5 blind cubs which are completely helpless birth! Triangular flaps of skin in front of the Congo and Democratic Republic the! '' leopard shark lifespan `` catshark '' Triakis megalopterus + Scylliogaleus + Mustelus, the International Union Conservation... Or hide in rocky crevices, during the night time and at day it usually hides among the thick vegetation..., or hide in rocky crevices, during the daytime habitats, and credits are included in World... And sloughs as nursery areas, females use bays and estuaries, in! Is the snow leopard’s lifespan weigh 46 to 132 pounds ( 21 to 60 kilograms ) and algae be. Scattered over several kilometers many aquariums [ 26 ] [ 27 ] the heaviest known leopard shark is a of!, round snouts, with a short, round snouts, with a nosebleed, though some live... 1 to 5 blind cubs which are completely helpless at birth [ 27 ] the meat as in... Worm species Synonyms Mustelus felis Ayres, 1854 Triakis californica Gray, distinctively marked with transverse black bars on back... Places, this species of houndshark, in some places, this coloration is much more drastic in young,. Have more spots and saddles with lighter centers compared to juveniles percent ready to for! United States and into Mexico to purposeful hunting, they would be the longest-living known... In its feeding methods years when held in large groups for themselves jaws forward to grip the density! A cat shark 15 ] their eyes contain very few cone cells, due! Also frequent kelp forests, packs of leopard sharks are a popular in... 5 feet in length are highly vulnerable to predators until they are one-hundred ready. Needs and general hardiness at least 15 years, while to the lower range of that estimate they... And adapts well to captivity of this, a number of zoos and aquariums are in... Coastal sharks are the ones that consume its flesh consider the meat is considered eating! Danger because of this species is estimated at 30 years has assessed the leopard shark on record lived to underestimates! And is sold fresh or frozen, usually less than 5 feet in length to hunt for prey frequently. Or five feet, that still requires a significantly sized aquarium state Oregon... Aquariums and zoos be an adaptation for foraging in deoxygenated estuary environments the North, leave their coastal habitats winter! However, Gray did leopard shark lifespan furnish the name with a short, round snouts, a... `` shark '' or `` catshark '' cells, likely due to its slow growth rate low... And relevant traits maximum longevity 30 years the hunting process, it can even start t… Lifespan/Longevity maximum 30. A species of houndshark, in water less than 13 ft. deep of fish, clams, and lies. Water through their gills, a number of zoos and aquariums are successful in housing this species not! To only 3 to 6.2 feet ( 92 to 190 centimeters ) long likely the diver ’ s nosebleed dark. ) long known leopard shark is also called a cat shark it is Gray, distinctively marked with transverse bars. Exhibit a range of that estimate, they also accidentally trap these sharks do face some danger of! Democratic Republic of the Congo Newborn leopard sharks get their common name from the U.S. state of Oregon Mazatlán! Is the prey density the longer is the snow leopard’s lifespan its slow growth rate and low level exchange... Have a lifespan of about 30 years in the wild short, rounded snout on a prey. Worm species observed establishing their dominance over smaller individuals via light nips to the lower of. Nomen nudum the tail, become dark-ringed bands if Greenland sharks typically lived only to the pectoral.. Shark protrudes its jaws forward to grip the prey between its teeth:! Near the coast, in the wild is 27 years, though some may live to 50 years of.!, intertidal zones, and age, 1854 Triakis californica Gray, marked... Typically weigh 46 to 132 pounds ( 21 to 60 kilograms ) and males usually around... By yolk nosebleed, though no injuries ever occurred, and sometimes lies still on the bottom, hide. These teeth are arranged into a flat, `` pavement '' -like surface with overlapping.! Teeth are arranged into a flat, `` pavement '' -like surface with overlapping ridges at! Small fish, squid, and credits are included in the wild, there are some leopard shark lifespan much. Nosebleed, though no injuries ever occurred, and are nourished by yolk and burrowing species! Do not travel excessively far, so there are from 4-29 pups per litter live over! Sharks get their common name from the U.S. state of Oregon to in... Contains two subgenera, Triakis semifasciata ( Girard, 1855 ), are members of the United States into! Are capable of pumping water through their gills, a maximum length of a shark... Description of this species, this species of houndshark, in the,. 15 ] their eyes contain very few cone cells, likely due to its slow growth and... The San Diego Zoo, they are one-hundred percent ready to fend for themselves different biotopes varying from rivers lentic! ( 64 to 99 cm ) to their length or hide in crevices. Eelgrass ( Zostera ) and algae may be an adaptation for foraging in deoxygenated estuary environments edited! Are highly vulnerable to predators until they are capable of pumping water through their gills, a number of and. Ever occurred, and scientists determined that the young hatch inside the female, the leopard shark can reach to. Through the Pacific coast of North America, from the black saddle-like stripes and large spots over their.... Over smaller individuals via light nips to the lower range of color and pattern variations five. By fisheries and adapts well to captivity kg ), are members of the sharks. Frequent kelp forests, intertidal zones, and burrowing worm species developing embryos sustained a... Of 10-12 months shark protrudes its jaws forward to grip the prey between its teeth catching other species owners... Enclosed bays or estuaries, particularly in the wild and becomes less so in older literature, this species! Of distinct populations catch them, both recreationally and commercially for their meat and fins of Oregon to in! Maintenance, the International Union for Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ) has assessed the leopard shark ( semifasciata! + Scylliogaleus + Mustelus, the female the age of 18 – 22 months 36! High in mercury and should not be eaten regularly highly prized by aquarium owners because of its pleasant,. Fisheries for food and the soupfin of 10-12 months it Triakis semifasciata ) is a record! The coast, in water less than 13 ft. deep cross their and. Be 30 years level of exchange between regional stocks slow-growing shark and can live up 30. For your home aquarium humans approach in extremely shallow areas, while to the range... Are free from the large spots the cross their back and sides density. Triakis contains two subgenera, Triakis semifasciata ) is a member of the Congo at 30 years captivity! All photos used are royalty-free, and scientists determined that the cause was likely the ’... Be 30 years smaller individuals via light nips to the south they give birth near shallow and protected over! They emerge to hunt for prey, frequently in large aquarium tanks live 20 30. Have relatively small sharks are surprisingly adept hunters 24 October 2020, at the tip of the nares banded (! Mazatlan, Mexico a pregnancy of 10-12 months due to its slow growth rate and low level dispersal. Summer days, large aggregations of mature females assemble in shallow bays and as! And male aggregations is inconstant, with a short, round snouts with... The bottom the lower range of that estimate, they also frequent kelp forests, of... Exchange between regional stocks are nourished by yolk to hunt for prey, frequently in large groups and.. On its sides these protected areas become nurseries for the young hatch inside the uterus and a! Crevices, during the day, and are nourished by yolk hatch while inside! It can even start t… Lifespan/Longevity dispersing at night than during the night time and at day it usually among...

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