Tiger Shark is part of the family Carcharhinidae, order Carcharhiniformes. It can be found in the waters of temperate, tropical and subtropical waters. It populates seas, bays, or estuaries in search of food.
Swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, South America, Africa, China, Honk Kong, India, Australia and Indonesia.
It is better known as Sea Tiger because it is also a shark species called sand shark. If the difference is obvious in English, the two names are almost identical (shark tiger – sand shark tiger).
The tiger shark was first described by Peron and Lessueur in 1822. They gave it the scientific name Squalus cuvier, but it was later changed to Galeocerdo tigrinus. Today, the scientific name is Galeocerdo cuvier. It is the largest part of the family to which it belongs.
The number of tiger shark populations is declining due to people’s fishing. In some areas the shark population is in danger of extinction due to overfishing. In 2010, Greenpeace International added tiger shark to the list of forbidden foods that are no longer to be marketed.
Tiger Shark’s Food
The tiger shark traverses great distances in search of food both in deeper waters and in less deep waters such as seashores. It is a large, active fish that has to consume a large amount of food. Besides, it is also greedy. He is considered a macropredator.
Tiger shark food consists of fish, other species of sharks, calamari, seals, sea snakes, dolphins, reptiles, marine mammals, invertebrate animals, cephalopods, turtles, crustaceans, etc.
Like other sharks, it is a sanitary of seas and oceans. He consumes stunts, household scams or sick animals that he can easily catch.
It has the largest menu of all shark species because it consumes the greatest variety of food. There have been some kind of objects found in his stomach and he has the reputation of being a “garbage giver”.
Tiger Shark’s Aspect
The tiger shark has a length of 5 meters and a weight of almost one ton (1000 kg). The female is larger than the male. The largest captured female was in Australia. It was 5.5m and weighing 1524kg. The weight was so great because the female was pregnant. It is said that there were also larger specimens, at present, if not proven, could not be confirmed.
The body is long and fusiform, the fish moves like a torpedo through the water propelled by strong muscles.
It has a brownish or brownish-brown color on the back, on the dorsal side, and its belly is whitish. On the side and back there are dark stripes like the tiger.
These tiger-like stripes can best be seen in the young ones. The older the streaks can be seen less and less, and some sharks can disappear.
The head is large compared to the body. Bottom end with mouth with sharp triangular teeth. The codend is perfectly adapted to propel the big body of the shark through the water. The other swimmers help in moving and steering. Pectoral swimmers are larger in size while ventral swimmers are smaller in size.
The tiger shark can reach the speed of 32km / h. The biggest predator of the shark, perhaps the only one, is man.
Tiger Shark’s Behavior
Tiger sharks are considered among the most dangerous sharks. Probably because of the size. Many people on the seaside where swims the tiger shark are afraid of this big fish.
He is classified as a vice-champion in attacks on humans because he walks through deeper waters where man walks. It meets much more often with humans than with other shark species. Unless the shallow waters would frequent and would not meet the man so often would not be so dangerous.
The longest distance travels during the summer months when the water is warm. In the cold months there is more in the equatorial area. He preferred to hunt at night. It is a solitary fish. Until recently it was thought that the tiger shark descends to depths of 900 meters, but recent studies have confirmed that they do not exceed 350 meters deep.
In Hawaii it was observed at depths of only 3 meters. It is usually seen in that area at depths of 6-12 meters.
Sharks generally move slowly through the water, and their habitat helps them to be camouflaged and harder to identify by spoil. They are best camouflaged if they have a dark color behind them. Once they get close to the prey, they attack in the form of ambush and catch their prey. It’s amazing to see how nearly a ton of fish can be propelled into the water at such a speed.
Hawaiian natives think the tiger shark is sacred. They say the eyes of the fish have special powers.
Tiger Shark’s Reproduction
Reproduction of the tiger shark differs from other shark species. It has ovovipara reproduction. Sexual maturity is reached after males exceed 2.3-3 meters and females 2.6 to 3.5 meters long.
The breeding takes place every three years. The male uses teeth to hold the female during copulation. In the northern hemisphere, mating takes place between March and May. Birth takes place the following year in April – June. The gestation period exceeds 12 months. The little sharks grow in the mother’s body until the age of 16 when fully developed.
In the southern hemisphere, the mating season takes place in November – January.
After the mating season, the female retains eggs in the oviduct and the embryos develop inside it. It can also store uterine milk as an embryo feed supplement. It can give birth to 20-80 little sharks.
The life expectancy is not known exactly, but it is assumed that the tiger shark lives 30-40 years.