The Tiger Shark represents the only extant member of the Galeocerdo genus, as well as being a very aggressive fish.
The species is famous for offering many risks to humans, while at the same time suffering from the great predators, the whales.
In this sense, follow us and learn more details about this species, including feeding, reproduction and curiosities.
- Scientific name – Galeocerdo cuvier;
- Family – Carcharhinidae.
Characteristics of the Tiger Shark
The Tiger Shark was cataloged in 1822 and would be a member of the order Carcharhiniformes.
This order of sharks is considered the richest in species, as it counts 270, including the hammerhead shark and the small cat shark.
Individuals of the order have features such as the nictitating membrane over the eyes and five gill slits.
In addition, fish have two dorsal and one anal fins.
And when we talk about this species, know that it would be the largest member of the Carcharhinidae family, also known as “requiem shark”.
Other common names would be jaguara shark, blue shark, jaguar shark, jaguara blue shark or tiger shark.
In this way, know that the main common name “tiger” is a reference to the black bands that are on the shark’s back and disappear when it gets older.
As for body characteristics, the fish has a short, rounded and wide snout.
The upper labial furrows are almost as long as the snout, which makes them reach the front of the eyes.
The fish’s mouth is large and full of triangular teeth.
Thus, the teeth would be like a can opener, allowing the animal to cut through meat, bones and even turtle shells with great ease.
Overall, the body would be robust, the caudal fin pointed, while the head would be flat and broad.
As far as color is concerned, be aware that individuals have a grayish brown or dark gray back, in addition to black bands.
Finally, it can reach up to 7 m in length, although it is rare and its life expectancy is believed to be over 12 years.
Tiger Shark Breeding
The Tiger Shark’s sexual maturity is reached when the male fish is between 2.3 and 2.9 m. On the other hand, females are mature at 2.5 to 3.5 m.
Thus, reproduction in the southern hemisphere occurs from November to January, while in the northern hemisphere, fish reproduce between March and May, with birth between April and June of the next year.
This species is the only one in its family to be ovoviviparous and the eggs hatch in the female’s body, that is, the young are born fully developed.
In this way, know that the individuals develop inside the female’s body until 16 months, when they reach from 51 to 104 cm.
She can give birth to 10 to 82 offspring, something that occurs once every three years.
The Tiger Shark is nocturnal and can eat other smaller sharks, bony fish, rays, marine mammals, turtles, squid, sea snakes, seals, gastropods and crustaceans.
Incidentally, some fish eat debris, pets, humans, garbage and carrion, including burlap sacks and pieces of metal.
According to one study, it was also possible to verify that baby tiger sharks eat seasonal birds like birds that fall into the water.
Among the curiosities, know that the Tigre Shark is in third place when we consider the fatalities involving people and fish.
The species is surpassed only by the white and flathead shark, posing great risks to humans.
Despite this, it is interesting to mention that man also poses a risk to the species, which is sold fresh, salted, dried, smoked or frozen.
For trade, fishermen use longlines or heavy nets and, in addition to selling the meat, the shark would be good for aquarium breeding.
On the other hand, this species also suffers from predators such as killer whales.
Whales form groups and use the method of bringing the sharks to the surface.
In this way, they grab the shark by the body and hold it upside down to induce tonic immobility that drowns.
Whales also rip off the fins and devour the shark.
Where to find Tiger Shark
The Tiger Shark is found in tropical and temperate waters like the Western Atlantic.
In this region, fish inhabit from the United States to Uruguay, including the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.
In the eastern Atlantic, the fish inhabits Angola and Iceland.
On the other hand, there are the Indo-Pacific regions in which the animal is found, such as the Persian Gulf, Red Sea and East Africa, from Hawaii to Tahiti, as well as Japan and New Zealand.
And when considering Tahiti, be aware that individuals are at a depth of no more than 350 m.
In the eastern Pacific, the animal is from the United States to Peru, so we can include Revillagigedo, Cocos and Galapagos islands.
Finally, when considering Brazil, the species prefers different environments in the Northeast, at a depth of 140 m.
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