Sharksonline's Blog

Zebra Shark

Posted on: April 20, 2010

Above the Zebra Shark

1. The adult zebra shark grows up to 2.5 m (8.2 ft) long. When the pups are born from a zebra shark they are 20–36 cm (8–14 in) long. Males and females are not dimorphic in size. The lifespan has been estimated to be 25–30 years in the wild

2. There are five distinctive ridges running along the body in adults, one along the dorsal midline and two on the sides. The dorsal midline ridge merges into the first dorsal fin, placed about halfway along the body and twice the size of the second dorsal fin. The pectoral fins are large and broad the pelvic and anal fins are much smaller but larger than the second dorsal fin. The caudal fin is almost as long as the rest of the body, with a barely developed lower lobe and a strong ventral notch near the tip of the upper lobe. The eyes are small and placed on the sides of the head the spiracles are located behind them and are as large or larger. The last 3 of the 5 short gill slits are situated over the pectoral fin bases and the fourth and fifth slits are much closer together than the others. Each nostril has a short barbel and a groove running from it to the mouth. The mouth is nearly straight, with three lobes on the lower lip and furrows at the corners. There are 28–33 tooth rows in the upper jaw and 22–32 tooth rows in the lower jaw each tooth has a large central cusp flanked by two smaller ones. The color pattern in young sharks is dark brown above and light yellow below, with vertical yellow stripes and spots the dark areas begin to break up, changing the general pattern from light-on-dark stripes to dark-on-light spots.

3. Zebra sharks  spend most of the day resting on the sea floor. They become more active at night when food becomes available. Zebra sharks are strong and agile swimmers, propelling themselves they hunt for molluscs, crustaceans, small bony fishes, and possibly sea snakes inside holes and crevices in the reef.

4. Though solitary for most of the year, they form large seasonal aggregations.

5. The zebra shark is oviparous females produce several dozen large egg capsules, which she anchors to underwater structures via adhesive tendrils.

6. The zebra shark is found in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific  region, from South Africa to the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf (including Madagascar  and the Maldives), to India and Southeast Asia (including Indonesia, the Philippines, and Palau), northward to Taiwan and Japan, eastward to New Caledonia and Tonga, and southward to northern Australia.

All of this info is from


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