Ranked #2 of the top 5 most dangerous sharks, behind the great white, it’s the tiger shark. This shark can be found in warm, tropical and subtropical waters all over the world; with a concentration to the west, north, and east of Australia. These are among the largest sharks in the world. Tiger sharks are named for their dark, vertical stripes which are found mainly on juveniles. As these sharks mature, the lines begin to fade and practically disappear.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Galeocerdo cuvier
Weight: Up to 1,400 lbs
Length: Up to 14 – 15 feet
Lifespan: Up to 27 years
Now on to the Facts!
1.) Like other sharks, they have an an excellent sense of smell, with the ability to detect slight amounts of blood from great distances.
2.) Using an organ called “ampullae of Lorenzini”, they are able to detect faint electrical impulses that are produced by moving prey and this enables them to hunt even when water visibility is low.
4.) A tiger shark’s teeth have a dual purpose: first, they help grasp onto struggling victims and can rip through even the thickest of hides. So basically nothing is safe from the bite of a tiger shark.
5.) Unlike most other sharks, these predators will not only bite humans but will eat them, if given the chance.
But wait, there’s more on the tiger shark!
6.) Tigers are typically solitary creatures but they gather in schools during mating season.
7.) They migrate 1,000’s of miles each year toward warmer waters when local temperatures drop.
Did you know…?
Tiger sharks are not finicky eaters. Fisherman have found license plates, oil canes, old tires, cow’s hoofs, and more in their stomachs!
8.) Southern hemisphere tiger sharks mate from November to January. Northern sharks mate from March to May.
9.) Eggs develop inside the mother’s womb and pregnancy lasts around 16 months and ends with 20 – 90 baby tiger sharks! Most of these sharks will not survive to adulthood.
10.) They are heavily harvested for their skin, fins, and meat. Their livers contain very high levels of vitamin A, which is processed into fish oil supplements. They have very low repopulation rates, and as such makes them highly susceptible to fishing pressures. They are listed as near threatened throughout their range by the IUCN.