Critter Science

The Science of Animals

tiger shark

The Dangerous Tiger Shark

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.

3.) Their prey includes fish, turtles, dolphins, dugongs, stingrays, sea snakes, & sea birds.

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.

Now a Short Tiger Shark Video!

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Critter Man

With over 40 years of critter experience to my credit and hundreds of zoology teaching hours to people around the world, I have amassed not only a continuing thirst for critter knowledge but a desire to teach others all I can about the majesty and wonder of our natural world. Critter Science is a culmination of such knowledge.I have hands on as well as book acquired intel on all kinds of critters. Whether they're on land, sea, or air.I will never say that I know everything about all animals. That's impossible, even for a savant. But, that being said, ask me any animal question and I'll answer it. If I don't know the answer, I'll get an answer for you!Let it be said that I have been oft times accused of loving animals more than I love people. I can neither confirm nor deny this.

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