Tiger Shark


Overview — The distinctive tiger shark lives in both coastal and open seawaters, usually from the surface to around 459 feet. Young members of this species sport black stripes arranged over their otherwise gray backs and sides. These stripes can fade as the shark ages, making it look more like a great white than a tiger shark.

Somehow it seems appropriate that this nocturnal, aggressive shark prefers dark, murky waters. It is adaptable, though, and can live in everything from river estuaries to lagoons. Solitary animals, tiger sharks may often be found at their lowest depths during the daytime. When the sun goes down, the sharks then frequently swim upward to higher levels, moving inshore to shallower waters where they make their evening dinner kills.

Feeding Habits — The tiger shark is one lean, mean, eating machine. Each of its teeth is shaped like those found on a circular saw, with a flat and curved hook at the end. A power saw might not even equal this shark’s power, since it can cut through turtle shells with a single bite.

Aside from turtles, other prey includes bony fish, conchs, crabs, birds, lobsters, skates, rays, porpoises and even people, if they are unfortunate enough to be around a particularly voracious and brazen tiger shark. This species will also consume flesh from animal carcasses that wash out to sea, such as dead rats, house pets and even farm animals, like cattle.

Cool Fact — Tiger sharks have very wide ranges and may travel thousands of miles between continents.

Common Max Depth — 459 feet

MORE SHARKS: Great White Shark | Sand Tiger Shark | Whale Shark | ALL SHARKS

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