Facts about tiger sharks
Tiger sharks are one of the deadliest of all known shark species. Although they do not normally prey on humans, they will not hesitate to attack. They are known as the Oceans’ garbage cans because their diet does not exclude manmade objects.
1Tiger sharks are the only member of the genus Galeocerdo.
2Tiger shark is the fourth largest shark on Earth.
It reaches a length of over 5 meters and weighs over 900 kg.
3They are common in tropical and temperate waters worldwide.
Most can be found around the Pacific islands. However, there are none in the Mediterranean Sea.
4Its coat comprises dark, vertical stripes and spots, resembling a tiger’s pattern.
It is where its name derives from. As the tiger grows, the pattern fades.
5The average lifespan of a tiger shark is 27 years in the wild.
6It is the second largest predatory shark, surpassed only by the great white.
7Tiger shark is carnivorous.
It is not particular about the food it consumes. It basically feeds on anything, including small sharks, dolphins, seals, fish, crustaceans, birds, sea turtles, squids, and sea snakes.
8They are also scavengers.
They feed on dead animals, including whales.
9They exhibit cannibalistic tendencies.
Tiger sharks have no problem with consuming their own pups.
10Apart from food with nutritional value, tiger sharks are known for consuming manmade objects.
They devour trash dumped into the ocean, such as tires, food cans, and jackets.
11Tiger shark is an apex predator.
Apart from occasionally falling prey to killer whales, tiger sharks do not have natural predators.
12It has an extremely keen sense of smell and sight.
Its eyesight is superior in comparison with other shark species, which makes it a perfect night-time predator.
13Despite sharing the same name, it is not related to the sand tiger shark.
14Tiger sharks can reach a top speed of 56 km/h.
15Tiger sharks are ovoviviparous.
Eggs hatch inside the female’s body after approximately 16 months, and pups are born fully developed.
16Female tiger sharks mate once every three years.
17Females birth up to 80 pups per litter.
However, the survival rate of youngsters varies from around 30% in the Atlantic Ocean to 62% in the Gulf.
18They are listed as near threatened.
Apart from the fact that they repopulate at a very slow rate, their population systematically declines due to intensive fishing for their skin, fins, and livers, which contain great amounts of vitamin A.