ZEBRA SHARK

(Stegostoma fasciatum)

ZEBRA SHARK (Stegostoma fasciatum)

 

The Zebra Shark is a tropical inshore species often found resting motionless on the sea floor, in close proximity to coral reefs during the day. It is for this reason believed to be a nocturnal species. It is found throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific at depths from 0-63 meters and it has also been recorded in freshwater habitats.

Adult  Zebra Sharks  have  a  distinctive   appearance  with  a moderately stout, cylindrical

body and five prominent ridges running along the  dorsal surface and  on  the  flanks.  The

caudal fin is low, comprising nearly half of the total  length, and the pectoral fins  are  large

and broadly rounded. The first dorsal fin is larger  than the second and its rear tip  is  close

to the origin of the second dorsal fin. The head  contains five small gill slits  on  each  side,

of which the last three are located behind the origins  of   the  pectoral  fins.  The  snout  is

rounded with short barbles and nostrils close to  the  front,   which  are  connected  to  the

mouth via nasoral grooves. Adult Zebra Sharks have a  yellow-brown body with dark brown

spots and can reach up to 2.4 meters in length.  In  contrast,   young  zebra sharks have a

completely different pattern of white spots and stripes in a dark   background  fading  to  a

pale ventral surface, and lack the longitudinal skin ridges. 

The Zebra Shark feeds primarily on mollusks as well as small bony fish, crabs and shrimp.

It is a slow swimmer, often squirming into narrow crevices and channels in search for prey

and, unless provoked, it is harmless to humans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE NOTE THAT AN ENCOUNTER WITH A ZEBRA SHARK CAN NEVER BE GUARANTEED ON A PARTICULAR DIVE!!

This is what makes the wild so special; every day is just unique!

Species Distribution

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Praia do Tofo - Mozambique

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