02 March, 2018

Was that a Leopard or a Zebra?

I come across pictures of Zebra Sharks (Stegostoma fasciatum) wrongly labeled as "Leopard Sharks" and hence this attempt at an infographic. I understand why people make the error - after all, adult Zebra Sharks have no stripes, let alone any resemblance to a zebra. But it was named as a child and the name stuck.
The Leopard Shark (Triakis semifasciata), on the other hand, doesn't really lounge around on tree branches nor is it found in the Asian/African region. It does have some beautiful markings though.

The two sharks look different enough and they are easy to tell apart. One just has to remember that the ridged, spotted, nurse-shark-look-alike is a Zebra shark.

I taught my 2-year old nephew to identify them and when he saw a Zebra shark at an aquarium he said "Zebra Shark". My sister ignorantly told him it was a Leopard Shark. Luckily one of the workers told her she was wrong and he was right. Another proud aunt moment.

Copyright (c) 2014 Gitanjali (Anju) Sabu. All rights reserved (At least, that's what the Copyright law says). Please don't steal or distribute my sketches unless you intend to make me famous. Or else, I'll have to feed you to the sharks, vipers and other fierce creatures.
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