Known as the second most dangerous shark in our oceans, the Tiger Shark! This beautiful shark species can be found inhabiting both tropical and subtropical waters worldwide and is aptly named for the tiger-like patterning along its body. There are so many amazing facts about sharks that will help you to understand these magnificent creatures.
We want to teach you all about this species, and that’s why we have put together these 50 facts about tiger sharks. Read on to find out how old Tiger Sharks can live to, all about their eating habits along with some Tiger Shark fun facts like just why they are nicknamed “the garbage can of the sea!”
Interesting Facts about Tiger Sharks
1. Where do Tiger shark live? They can be found all over the world, in both deep and shallow waters.
2. This omnivorous species is common worldwide in tropical and warm-temperate coastal waters.
3. This species belongs to the largest order of sharks, which also includes, Blue, Hammerhead, and Bull sharks.
4. They are not to be confused with the Sand Tiger Shark, which is a smaller cousin to the Great White and is known to be the only one of the species to come up to the surface to gulp air.
5. The scientific name is Galeocerdo Cuvier. Galeocerdo comes from the Greek words Galeos, for “shark”.
6. They are one of the largest in the ocean.
7. How big is a Tiger shark? On average, they can grow between 10 – 16 feet (3 – 4.9 meters) in length.
8. They usually weigh around 800 – 1500 pounds, about as heavy as a horse.
9. They are known to live up to 50 years old.
10. There have been reports of them having grown over 20 feet (6.1 meters) long.
11. How big do Tiger Sharks get? The largest size ever confirmed was 18 feet (5.5 meters) long and weighed over 3000 pounds.
12. When the pups are born, they measure little over 1 foot in length.
13. Just like most shark species, the female Tigershark grows much bigger than males.
14. What does a Tiger Shark look like? Well, they get their name from the dark stripes on the upper side of their body when they are born. These stripes are seen clearly on ones that are less than 5 feet long, the stripes fade as they age.
15. They are excellent hunters and one of the top predators in the ocean.
16. They prey on fish (including others of their own kind), jellyfish, squid, sea turtles, crabs, clams, dolphins, seals, dugongs, seabirds (like albatrosses), crocodiles and sea snakes. They can even go after sick whales.
17. Boy, do they love to eat! And they don’t just eat the animals listed above. Off of the coast of Hawaii, all sorts of animals have been found inside their stomachs. This includes rats, cats, dogs, sheep, goats, and even horses!!
18. Interesting facts about tiger sharks! Oddly enough that’s not all, they have been nicknamed “the garbage can of the sea” due to other strange items found inside their stomachs. Like plastic bottles, beer bottles, old tires, nails, oil cans, baseballs, clothing, license plates, and even explosives – Now that’s an appetite!
19. They find their prey by using their sharp eyesight and even more keen sense of smell, as well as their sixth sense.
20. Yes, Sharks have six senses, these include; sight, touch, smell, taste, hearing, and electroreception.
21. This sixth sense is the special pores located beneath the skin around the snout. These pores are filled with a jelly-like substance that is able to detect electric fields.
22. Each living being gives off an electric field, so by heading towards the direction of the field, they are almost certain to find prey.
23. Once they have spotted their next meal, they move very slowly just like tigers, silently stalking their prey.
24. The slow movement and camouflage help prevent it from being seen until the very last moment when attacking its prey.
25. Tiger sharks are so quick, once it secures is prey it will finish it within minutes.
26. Tiger shark teeth facts. A tiger sharks tooth is uniquely shaped like the sail of a boat, they are very large and notched with saw-like edges.
27. Their teeth are so strong they can cut through the shell of a sea turtle or a clam.
28. If one of their teeth break, they simply grow a new one the next day.
29. They are the only species of shark that is ovoviviparous. That’s a combination of oviparous (laying eggs) and viviparous (giving birth to live young).
30. The female of the species develops eggs inside of their bodies but they do not lay them.
31. The egg stays inside the female body, where it is nourished by the yolk of the egg, it then hatches and continues to develop.
32. It can take as long as 16 months for the pup to be born.
33. When fully developed, they can have as many as eighty pups in a litter.
34. Due to the long gestation period and troublesome mating process, they only have pups once every three years.
35. During the mating process, the female is badly bitten by the male.
36. Once a pup is born, they are not given any aftercare and are forced to find their own food. Often enough, the pups stick together in order to stay safe.
37. Due to them being abandoned as pups, many of them end up being preyed on by the larger of their own kind.
38. Another of the Tiger Shark facts is that although they are a top predator, they are not safe from predation. Many can still be eaten by the Great White, other sharks, and killer whales.
39. Next to the Great White, they are responsible for the most attacks on humans.
40. The Great White has over 300 recorded unprovoked attacks since the late 1500s and the Tiger 111 unprovoked attached, out of which 31 were fatal.
41. In one sense the Tiger Shark is considered more dangerous than the Great White, this is because they usually take a bite and then another, which results in more than one-third of its attacks being fatal, whereas the Great White will take one bite and then swim away.
42. But here is another of the Tiger sharks facts… Less than one-fourth of Tiger sharks attacks are fatal.
43. There are known to be 3 – 4 attacks in Hawaii alone every year.
44. Because of its tendency to attack humans, they are hunted as part of Shark Control systems.
45. Although they are also widely hunted for sport and commercial use for their fins, skin, and liver which contain a rich source of Vitamin A.
46. Many are accidentally caught by fishing boats trying to catch swordfish, tuna, and squid.
47. There is evidence of declines for several of their populations where they have been heavily fished but in general, they do not face a high risk of extinction.
48. Some of the Native Hawaiians consider them a sacred spirit of one of their ancestors, reincarnations of family members who passed away a long time ago.
49. It is believed that their eyes have magical powers and that by eating an eye one would be able to see better and even see into the future.
50. Last but not least of our Tiger sharks facts is that according to an ancient legend, the mother of the great King Kamehameha asked for Tiger Shark eyeballs during her pregnancy in the hopes that her son would become a great leader.
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Conservation Status of the Tiger Shark
Tiger shark facts. The species is a relatively fast-growing and fecund species of shark. They continue to thrive due to its large, global population and high reproductive rates. Although it is caught regularly in target and non-target fisheries it is currently classified only as a near-threatened species on the IUCN Red List.
In spite of these threats, tiger sharks, in general, do not currently face a high risk of extinction. However, if demand continues, especially for their fins, this may result in further declines in the future.
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