Meet Vertigo the Zebra Shark

July 25, 2017 by Jessica V, SeaWorld

Vertigo is a male zebra shark that’s nearly 7 feet long, weighs 83 pounds and is one of the sharks you can now meet during our all-new shark swim at Discovery Cove. The name zebra shark comes from the striped pattern that is present on juveniles of the species. As they grow, the striped pattern turns into a spotted pattern, much like a leopard. Hence why you get confused when we say zebra shark instead of leopard shark!

Vertigo was hatched at the Shedd Aquarium on October 4, 2009. Yes, sharks can hatch! There are actually three different ways shark “give birth”: oviparous, ovoviviparous, and viviparous.

  • Oviparous or “egg birth” is when sharks lay eggs and then the pups hatch.
  • Ovoviviparous or “egg live birth” is when a shark lays eggs inside their body and then gives birth to live pups.
  • Viviparous or “live birth” is a birth that does not involve eggs. This is the same as human birth.

Nearly a year later Vertigo joined our Discovery Cove family and has been in husbandry training ever since. This training is so our team can better care for him. Vertigo actively participants in his own healthcare allowing veterinarians to take blood samples, perform full body exams, and take ultrasounds to examine his internal organs all while he is calmly resting in the arms of an Aquarist.

Fun fact about Vertigo: he’s a picky eater! Like all of our animals he eats sustainable seafood and his favorite food is salmon. Want to learn more about Vertigo and all of the sharks that call Discovery Cove home? Now you can. Visit our website today to reserve your day at Discovery Cove and your up-close shark experience