28 November 2009


Regular readers know that I'm an avid advocate for predators in general, and the big cats in particular. I happened upon an article about a non-feline predator with a partly-feline name, due to the markings on its skin. The leopard shark ranges along the Pacific coast of North America, from Oregon in the north, to Mazatlan in Mexico in the south. a relatively small shark, the four to five foot long leopard shark often swims in large schools in coastal waters less than 13 feet deep -- bays and estuaries, intertidal mud flats at high tide, or rock-strewn areas near kelp beds or reefs. Since most leopard sharks live within a defined territory, there exists genetic divergence between populations of sharks living in different areas within the species range. such divergence is one of the many possible sources of speciation, i.e., the splitting of one species into two or more distinct sub-species,
Leopard sharks are harmless to humans, and sadly are harvested both for food, and to stock exotic salt water aquaria in offices and homes. (click on image to enlarge)

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