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The zebra shark has a cylindrical body with a large, slightly flattened head and a short, blunt snout. The eyes are small and placed on the sides of the head the spiracles are located behind them and are as large or larger. The last 3 of the 5 short gill slits are situated over the pectoral fin bases, and the fourth and fifth slits are much closer together than the others. Each nostril has a short barbel and a groove running from it to the mouth. The mouth is nearly straight, with three lobes on the lower lip and furrows at the corners. There are 28 tooth rows in the upper jaw and 22 tooth rows in the lower jaw each tooth has a large central cusp flanked by two smaller ones. There are five distinctive ridges running along the body in adults, one along the dorsal midline and two on the sides. The dorsal midline ridge merges into the first dorsal fin, placed about halfway along the body and twice the size of the second dorsal fin. The pectoral fins are large and broad the pelvic and anal fins are much smaller but larger than the second dorsal fin. The caudal fin is almost as long as the rest of the body, with a barely developed lower lobe and a strong ventral notch near the tip of the upper lobe. The zebra shark attains a length of 2.5 m (8.2 ft), with an unsubstantiated record of 3.5 m (11 ft). Males and females are not dimorphic in size. The color pattern in young sharks is dark brown above and light yellow below, with vertical ...
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