to newsletter
Share Page

Back to Animals

Zebra Shark

Stegostoma fasciatum

Cylindrical body with a large, slightly flattened head and a short, blunt snout. The eyes are small and placed on the sides of the head; juveniles are covered with black stripes which fade as the sharks mature. Can reach lengths of up to 8 feet. 

Coral reefs and sandy bottoms.


Ocean Realm and Caribbean Currents - Zone A

Zebra Sharks

Zebra Sharks, which can be found in our 750,000 Ocean Realm Exhibit, and in nearby Caribbean Currents in Zone A - are large, bottom-oriented sharks living in Pacific coral reefs. Like most other large bottom sharks, Zebra Sharks rest during the day and hunt at night. Their main diet mostly consists of molluscs, but they also eat crabs, shrimp and lobster, and they frequent coral reefs, rubble, and sandy areas. Zebra Sharks do not have a bottom lobe on their tail like most sharks do, which gives them and their tails a very snake-like appearance.

Did you know? Zebra Sharks get their name from the black stripes that cover their bodies when they are young. As they mature, their stripes fade and turn to spots. Because of this, they are known as "leopard sharks" in some areas! 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.

Another cool fact is that Zebra Sharks are oviparous, meaning that females lay eggs. They produce several dozen large egg capsules, which they anchor to underwater structures via adhesive tendrils.

BEHIND THE SCENES ADVENTURE: Do you love sharks? What about a chance to SWIM with them?! Check out our legendary Swim with the Sharks Adventure - a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will bring you face to face with dozens of sharks.