The tiger shark, scientific name Galeocerdo Cuvier, is a large shark noticed by the dark stripes running down it's body.
They can easily grow to a size of 5.5 m (18 ft) and weigh anywhere between 350 - 635 kg (850 - 1,400 lb).
Tiger sharks are often compared to the ocean's largest shark, The Great White, and can live up to 50 years in the wild.
The Tiger Shark's Habitat
The tiger shark will almost always be found in tropical and subtropical waters along coastlines worldwide. These nomadic sharks prefer deep water near reef's and cover, but will travel into shallow waters to hunt their prey.
In the Pacific Ocean, tiger sharks have been found as far south as New Zealand, and as far north as Japan.
Tiger sharks are often found at an average depth of 1,000 m, but have been observed in depths of only 10 to 20 feet, making encounters with humans more frequent. Only great white sharks have more reported attacks on humans than tiger sharks.
The Tiger Shark's Diet
The tiger shark is a large apex predator, but has been known to eat just about anything. Common meals of tiger sharks include fish, dolphins, crustaceans, sea turtles, and other marine life.
Besides being hunters, tiger sharks are also known as scavengers of the ocean. These large predators often feed on injured or dead whales and other large marine life that cannot defend itself.
The Tiger Shark's Appearance
Tiger sharks are well known for their distinct dark stripes that run down the length of their body, resembling a tiger, but will fade as the shark grows older and becomes more mature. Their skin can be blue to a light green with a white or even yellow underbelly.
This body design makes them great hunters in the dark, and allows them to find hiding prey.
Tiger sharks usually grow to a maximum size of around 5.5 meters, but some have been documented reaching over 7 meters. They are large sharks and can easily weigh anywhere between 350 - 635 kg (850 - 1,400 lb).
Other Interesting Facts
- Tiger sharks are known as the garbage disposal of the ocean. Wine bottles, license plates, and plastic bottles have all been found in their digestive systems
- One female tiger shark can give birth to a litter between 30 and 55 pups
- Tiger sharks have one of the best eyesight of all sharks, making them great nighttime hunters
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