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The tiger shark is the easiest to identify of the requiem sharks because of its
many diagnostic characteristics. It has a snout shorter than the width of the
mouth, with long labial furrows around the corners of the mouth. The shape of the
teeth is the best diagnostic characteristic; they have curved cusps with finely
serrated edges, a deep notch on their outer margins, and they are similar in both jaws.
Color varies from light gray to black above and from bluish or greenish gray
above to dirty yellow or white below. Juveniles up to about 180 cm (71 in)
have a mottled appearance, their dorsal surfaces are covered with dark
spots on a lighter background. In larger sharks, the spots fuse together forming
vertical bars or stripes producing a tiger-like appearance, hence the name.
In older sharks the stripes tend to fade except in flanks near the tail.
This is one of the largest tiger sharks that we have caught!
Adults 335-425 cm (11-14 ft) are common. The largest specimens
exceed 550 cm (18 ft) and 900 kg (2,000 lbs).
The characteristic teeth and markings
distinguish the tiger shark from all other
The tiger shark inhabits warm waters in both deep oceanic and shallow coastal
regions. It feeds on all kinds of marine animals: turtles, horseshoe crabs, many
bony fishes, smaller sharks, ray egg cases, seagulls, just to name a few. It is also
one of the few species of sharks that will scavenge dead animals. It is known
to have attacked divers and swimmers.
Tiger sharks go from the surface to 1,200 feet (340 m). They swim in tropical waters
worldwide and in some temperate seas. They inhabit both the shoreline and open
waters, ranging perhaps up to 500 miles.
A Tiger Shark And It's Nictitating Membrane:
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