Horn Sharks in La Jolla, Cuties of the Pacific

Lots of sharks are what you will find while snorkeling in San Diego’s protected marine area. The super cute award goes to the horn sharks in La Jolla. These guys should be on everyone’s dive goals lists.

Depending on what time of year you visit, there will be different species swimming about the kelp. Chilling on the bottom or hiding among the rocks, they are everywhere. Springtime is shark time. Sevengills are gliding throughout the reserve. Topes schooling near the rock pile. The little sharks arrive to give birth in the shallows along the rocky reef.

Horn shark on the sand.
Photo of Stephanie wearing mares in San Diego.

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San Diego’s Super Cute Ocean Predator

These little sharks are the cutie pies of the Pacific! Small in size, not much bigger than 3 feet and are a brownish or gray color with spots. Their face is fierce looking with ridges over their eyes. When you get up close, they are as sweet as can be. The most interesting feature is their two high dorsal fins with large spines.

But even though they have horns these critters are not devilish. Arriving in San Diego to lay their eggs. The eggs are spiral shaped cones that the female protects within the rocky bottom of the preserve. It is simple to observe them during a morning scuba diving trip or freediving due to their placid nature. Sometimes divers can witness this species cruising along the bottom. But most often they are just lying on the rocks below the sea lions favorite area. They rarely move out of fear from your presence. Unlike many predators that visit La Jolla, this shark is a somewhat predictable visitor. Loners that rarely school. With the large numbers that congregate, encounters by divers are pretty much a guarantee.

Gear provided by Mares.

Freediving with fish in La Jolla Cove.
Margo photographing sharks while snorkeling.