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!