Zebra Shark Facts for Kids

Zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum) is a bottom-dwelling shark and it is the only member from its family. These sharks are active during the night and rest on the sea floor during most of the daytime. Zebra shark is a solitary fish. However, it is often found to form loose aggregations of 20 to 50 individuals.

It has cylindrical-shaped body and a large head with eyes located on its sides. There are 5 longitudinal ridges on its body. It has a short but blunt-ended snout. Its spiracles are bigger and located behind its small eyes. It has wide and large pectoral fins. The young zebra sharks have pale yellow underbelly and dark brown color from above along with yellow marks. However, adult species have dark speckles on a light-shaded body.

It can grow up to a length of 8.2 feet. At birth, the size of each hatchling is 20 to 36 centimeters long.

It has a lifespan of 25 to 30 years.

These sharks reach maturity at a length of 5.6 feet.

The length of an egg capsule of a zebra shark is 16 centimeters. The color of the egg casing is purple to dark brown. In about 112 days, a female zebra shark lays up to 46 eggs, which are deposited in 4 batches. These eggs are hatched after about 6 months.

These sharks inhabit Indo-Pacific region. They occupy all the way from South Africa to Persian Gulf, India, Indonesia, Japan and up to Australia. It dwells up to a depth of 203 feet.

The main diet of zebra shark consists of mollusks. However, it also feeds on bony fishes and crustaceans.

Zebra sharks are docile creatures and therefore, do not pose any threat to the divers.

These sharks are hunted for their flesh, fins and liver oil.

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