Kids' Habitat
Visitor Information

From the Shore to the Deep Blue Sea

Gray Smoothhound
Leopard Shark
Horn Shark
Swell Shark
Angel Shark
Blue Shark
Mako Shark
Thresher Shark
Hammerhead Shark
Great White Shark

Shark School


Kelp Forest from a photo by Mark Conlin

Sharks live in a variety of ocean habitats -- in shallow water, on the sandy sea bottom, and in the deep sea. But where a shark lives isn't just determined by the depth of the water. Other factors include water temperature, food availability, the topography of the ocean floor, the presence of islands, ocean currents, and, in a few cases, the presence of predators.

Eight species of sharks are common to the waters off of southern California and northern Baja California; two are not so common, but all are very interesting.

Close to the shore and on the bottom of local bays and estuaries, five types of sharks are fairly common. The gray smoothhound and leopard shark live closest to the shore and in the bays. The horn shark and swell shark are most common on the ocean bottom among the kelp beds. The angel shark lives slightly farther offshore, along the ocean bottom near the edge of the kelp forests.

Far out to sea, in open waters, you may find the beautiful blue shark, high-speed mako, and elusive thresher.

Much rarer in our local waters are the hammerhead shark and the truly terrifying great white shark.


Kelp forest from a photograph by Mark Conlin

Shark School | Kids' Habitat

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