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Leopard Sharks

Leopard Sharks are harmless bottom feeders that spawn in La Jolla ShoresAA043325

Leopard sharks belong to the family triakidae, which are also known as hound sharks. Despite the name “shark,” these leopard sharks are harmless. Found on the Pacific Coast, leopard sharks are born annually in the shallow water at La Jolla Shores.

Every year, leopard sharks migrate from the coast of California to the northern bays and La Jolla. They are distinctively marked with dark brown spots on a silvery, gray background that resemble a leopard print.

What Leopard Sharks Eat

The leopard shark is slim and has a small mouth, used to suck up invertebrates on the ocean floor. Although leopard sharks have small teeth, they swallow their food whole without chewing. Leopard sharks feed on crustaceans and other invertebrates that live in mud and sand, like worms and crabs.

Leopard Shark Reproduction

The gestation period for leopard sharks is 10-12 months and usually ends in May, when the Leopard sharks come into shallow water to give birth to live young. They can reproduce up to 30 pups per litter. During the summer months, hundreds of leopard sharks can be seen swimming around in shallow water.

Leopard Shark Facts

  • Leopard sharks may grow up to 5 or 6 feet long.
  • Leopard sharks are harmless to humans due to their small teeth and timid nature.
  • They are visible in large numbers cruising the shallow waters during summer and generally stay around through the fall.
  • Leopard sharks can feel sound waves through pores in their skin. They also have a keen sense of smell and excellent hearing, so they swim away quickly at the sound of a kayak paddle moving in the water!

Snorkel with Leopard Sharks

Join our Leopard Shark Snorkel Adventure to witness these amazing leopard sharks and snorkel amidst the Ecological Reserve along La Jolla’s picturesque coast. Snorkel above these amazing creatures on our La Jolla kayak tour combined with snorkeling. This tour involves kayaking to the seven caves and kelp beds, and snorkeling with leopard sharksgaribaldi, shovelnose guitar fish and other local fish – all made easy by bringing the snorkel gear aboard the kayaks. These leopard sharks are easily visible from atop your kayak, usually between June and October.  Remember to paddle gently when viewing the leopard sharks, as they are very sensitive to vibration due to the pores in their skin!

Call (858) 454-1010 for more info or book your adventure online. Advance reservation discounts available.