Tiger Shark

Tiger Shark

Photo taken by Albert Kok

Tiger Shark – Galeocerdo cuvier

Tiger sharks are very large and so they require a considerable amount of wide open space. They enjoy warm water so they are found in the tropic areas of the world as well as some sub tropic locations. The Atlantic ocean is where most of them have been recognized.

You can find many of them around the islands of Hawaii. They tend to hang out around the surface of the water so they are often spotted easily. In recent years they have also been spotted around the waters of both New Zealand and Japan.

Facts about Tiger Sharks

Tiger sharks have been recorded with the most attacks on humans only behind the great white. They are very aggressive by nature and will stop at nothing to complete a hunt for food. They will attack when they feel they are in danger which is why they are known to attack humans.

It is the fourth largest shark found in the world. They are solitary sharks that tend to live alone. They have amazing eyesight which is why they tend to hunt at night. They can camouflage with their blue or green color to help them blend in better with the surroundings in the water.

Eating Habits of Tiger Sharks

A tiger shark will eat any type of fish, shark, animal, and small entity it can find in the water. They are very curious by nature and will taste anything that comes their way. The stomachs of tiger sharks have been found with some very unique items inside of them. This includes pieces of boats and ships, jewelry, clothing, tires, books, and more. If it finds its way into the water there is a good chance a tiger shark is going to dine on it.

Tiger sharks tend to have a very big appetite but they will also eat when they aren’t hungry just because they see something around them that they enjoy. The variation in weight has to do with how much food is readily available in the area where they live.

Anatomy of a Tiger Shark

They can grow to be about 14-20 feet in length with an average of 12 feet. They can vary in weight from 850 pounds to approximately 1,400 pounds. It gets its name due to the stripes found on it that resemble those on a tiger. Each one of the tiger sharks will have stripes that are different in color, design, and size. You will also notice that their dorsal fins are very close to the tail.

Reproduction of Tiger Sharks

Female tiger sharks give birth to live young. The pups remain inside of their mother for up to 16 months with 14 months being the average. They can give birth to anywhere from 10 to 80 pups at a time. They will be on their own from the second they are born. Females are ready to reproduce when they are about 8 years of age. Males are ready when they are 6-7 years of age.

Conservation Status: Near Threatened.

Since tiger sharks are known for attacking people they are often killed. Since they live in shallow water they are easy for hunters to spot. Others are killed by ships and boats as they may be residing in river areas since they don’t require deep waters. They are continually hunted in Hawaii in order to keep tourists from being afraid to enter the waters.

They are also hunted to use for various types of products we consume. For example they are used to make Vitamin A. In some locations the flesh of the tiger shark is used for meat. They don’t seem to be in danger of a dwindling population though even in spite of such hunting efforts.