Leopard shark sightings off San Diego coast - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Leopard shark sightings off San Diego coast

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – At La Jolla Shores, you'll find yourself surrounded by hundreds of sharks – harmless sharks.

Draw a line out from the Marine Room restaurant, and you'll find the hangout for leopard sharks in front of La Jolla Submarine Canyon.

"To best see the leopard sharks, because they're so afraid of people, best thing is to be quiet, to float, not to splash around too much or make noise and they'll come to you," Birch Aquarium at Scripps Marine Biologist Dr. Andrew Nosal said.

And you'll often see these timid sharks in shallow water. Nosal is sharing his research with Birch Aquarium at Scripps to show us sharks are vulnerable just like us.

"The leopard shark is completely harmless. They don't get to be very big only about six feet long, that's the maximum size. Often they're feeding on things like crabs, squids, small fish -- they like to dig things out of the sand.

Nosal says female leopard sharks show up newly pregnant at La Jolla Shores in the summer. So this year's new moms-to-be will give birth next spring.

"It's a unique phenomenon, the water in that area is warm and calm and the sharks that come in there are almost all pregnant females, almost 95 percent. They like the warm water off La Jolla because it actually speeds up the rate of development of the embryo, kind of like a mother bird sits on her egg to keep it warm," he said.

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