Tiger Shark Facts

Tiger Shark Closeup Profile

The Tiger Shark

Tiger Shark Territory:

Tiger Shark Map

Tiger Shark Basic Facts:

Diet: Carnivore
Size: 10-14ft (3-4.2m)
Weight: 850-1400lbs (385-635kg)
Life Span: 30 – 40 Years
Group name: School or shoal
Speed: 20 MPH

Tiger Shark Feeding

Tiger Shark Feeding

Tiger Shark Swimming

Tiger Shark Swimming

Photography from iStockphoto


Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) are named for the dark, vertical stripes found on the young sharks. As these sharks become mature, these lines fade away. The tiger sharks are considered as apex predators and they can eat anything. Tiger sharks are included in the largest predators in the world and they have earned their reputation as man eaters. They are second only to the great white sharks in attacking people. They are scavengers with excellent sense of sight and smell, and they have an endless menu of eating items.

The appearance of a tiger shark is relatively typical for the family of grey sharks. Its body is longer and the snout is not pointed but flat. These sharks grow typically to a length of 10.5ft (3.25m), but have been seen as larger as 16+ feet (5+ meters). Female Tiger sharks mate once every three years. They breed by internal fertilization. These sharks are solitary except during the mating season or while communally feeding on large carcasses. Tiger sharks are saltwater species. Although they prefer the sea grass ecosystem, they mostly inhabit other areas due to prey availability. It tends to live in deep water, however, it moves to shallow water to hunt prey. Tiger sharks are mostly found in tropical and moderate coastal regions, preferring murky waters. They are also found in island such as Hawaii, Tahiti, Solomon and Marshall Islands.

Fun Facts About Tiger Sharks:

  1. Tiger sharks have powerful jaws that allow them to crack the shells of sea turtles and clams.
  2. The stomach contents of captured tiger sharks included sea snakes, birds, seals, horse, goats, and sheep.
  3. Due to its aggressive and indiscriminate feeding style, it has often mistakenly eaten inedible objects like oil cans, tires, baseballs, and plastic.
  4. Tiger sharks generally swim slowly which makes them difficult to be detected by their prey. They are especially well camouflaged against dark backgrounds and can easily hunt their prey.
  5. Tiger sharks are heavily hunted for their skin, teeth, fins and their livers which contain high levels of vitamin A, which is processed into vitamin oil.
  6. Tiger sharks are being killed rapidly. They have low repopulation rates which has caused them to be considered an endangered species and may be extinct in the distant future.
  7. The tiger shark’s teeth and jaw is different from other gray sharks. While the teeth of other sharks in round in shape, the teeth of tiger sharks is square.
  8. The average lifespan of a tiger shark is around 30 to 40 years but some tiger sharks are found to be 50 years old. Tiger sharks in captivity only live for 17 to 20 years.
  9. Tiger shark is considered to be sacred by some native Hawaiians, who think their eyeballs have special seeing powers. Legend suggests that many kings living is historical Hawaiian environment acquired their future decisions by consuming the eye of the Tiger shark.
  10. It is said that the mother of the most famous king of Hawaii, King Kamehameha asked for the eyes of the Tiger shark during her pregnancy because they wanted to enhance the leadership qualities of the future king she carried.