Ms. Mallory discusses leopard sharks visiting La Jolla shores
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Every Spring, Summer and Fall, thousands of harmless leopard sharks come to the warm, shallow waters of La Jolla.
They visit between mid-June and December with peak numbers during July and August.
Ms. Mallory joined Good Morning San Diego to highlighting La Jolla’s summertime visitor.
They get their name from their pattern resembling leopard spots. Their patterns are so different that scientists use them to identify individuals- much like fingerprints for humans.
La Jolla’s leopard sharks are about 97% females, most of which are pregnant. Their gestation period is 10-11 months. They bear live young, and a litter will typically consist of 15-20 babies.
They congregate at La Jolla Shores because of its calm, warm, shallow waters—an ideal natural incubator—and abundant food in the sand, rocky reefs and kelp forest of the protected preserve, including clams, crabs, shrimp, squid, fish and fish eggs (not humans)
Leopard sharks have small mouths and teeth, perfect for feedings on crustaceans and bony fish (again, not humans)
Adults can grow up to six feet in length, but the average size is four to five feet.
Best way to see them while social distancing in the water? Just float. They are quite skittish and can be scared away with movement in the water- like kicking.