The leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata) is a species of houndshark, family Triakidae, found along the Pacific coast of North America from the U.S. state of Oregon to Mazatln in Mexico. Typically measuring 1.21.5 m (3.94.9 ft) long, this slender-bodied shark is immediately identifiable by the striking pattern of black saddle-like markings and large spots over its back, from which it derives its common name. Large schools of leopard sharks are a common sight in bays and estuaries, swimming over sandy or muddy flats or rock-strewn areas near kelp beds and reefs. They are most common near the coast, in water less than 4 m (13 ft) deep. Active-swimming predators, groups of leopard sharks often follow the tide onto intertidal mudflats to forage for food, mainly clams, spoon worms, crabs, shrimp, bony fish, and fish eggs.
Contributions by Yzx, Mfield, and GrahamBould.