Leopard sharks are a small species native only to the Pacific coast of the United States and Mexico. Most individuals only grow to about four or five feet long. Their name comes from the large spots the cross their back and sides.
Accordingly, the leopard shark is typically found in shallow enclosed muddy bays - usually entering as the tide rises and departing as the tide retreats. The species favors sand flats, mud flats, and rocky bottom areas near reef sites and kelp beds. Population Global: No data
Leopard sharks can be fairly large, growing 4 to 7 feet (1.2 to 2 meters) on average, with females being slightly larger. They are long and thin, which is helpful when you live in large, nomadic schools. They have flattened heads with short, round snouts. It's alive!
Known for its distinctive dark spots and saddle type markings, the Leopard Shark (Triakis semifasciata) is known to live up to 30 years, taking more than a decade to reach maturity. They generally only grow to about 4 or 5 feet (in rare occasions they can reach 6ft) and the heaviest ever recorded weighed in at 40lbs.
Because leopard shark has mercury and PCB's, it is generally recommended to eat at most one serving per week. Refer to OEHHA for regional recommendations.  Although not toxic, sharks can develop an ammonia smell and taste if handled improperly--to avoid this, gut and bleed the shark immediately after catching and put on ice. [2,8]
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