Photographer James Kusz spotted this (oops, I meant, saw this) Leopard Shark along the Virginia Street Extension in the morning. The fish, close to four feet long, cruised tight to the shore near the surface and eventually slid smoothly out of sight. They often travel in groups but this one appeared to be by itself. They don’t attack people. They are themselves liable to attack by other, bigger sharks, and by Sea Lions (“Lion v. Leopard” April 28 2021). They live mostly on clams, spoon worms, crabs, shrimp, whatever small fish are available, and fish eggs. The female may give birth to anywhere between one to three dozen baby sharks, which sounds like the makings of a population explosion. But they grow very slowly. After the first 3 – 4 years, they grow less than one inch per year, and stop growing when they’re about 10-15 years old. They can live to be 30 years old.
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