The Beacon

Fact of the Day: Zebra Shark

Adult Zebra Shark (credit: Peter Halasz)

Today’s FOTD is about the beautiful zebra shark. These sharks get their name from the impressive stripes found on the juveniles.

As they grow into adulthood, these stripes change into spots, which is why this shark is occasionally also called the leopard shark. (Taxonomists even originally thought that juvenile zebra sharks were actually a different species than the adult zebra sharks because their markings are so different!)

Zebra sharks are nocturnal bottom-dwellers. They spend their days on the bottom of reefs and face into the current in order to get oxygenated water to flow over their gills without using much energy. At night, these sharks squeeze their bodies into small cracks and crevasses looking for food like mollusks, crustaceans, and small fish. 

See you tomorrow and happy Shark Week! And of course, if you can’t wait, browse Oceana.org/Explore for more shark fun.


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