About This Fish

Tiger Shark

The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) is a cartilaginous fish which is also known as sea tiger. It belongs to the family Carcharhinidae under order Carcharhiniformes of class Elasmobranchii. The tiger shark is often found close to the coast, mainly in tropical and subtropical waters throughout the world. It is especially common around central Pacific islands. It inhabits coastal waters close to shore, outer continental shelf and offshore.

The tiger shark is one of the largest sharks in the world. It has a large, thick-body with a blunt snout and wedge shaped head. It is blue or green in color with a light yellow or white under belly. The tiger shark has tiger like markings on a dark back. Pups have spotted markings that grow together to form stripes that fade with maturity. The first dorsal fin is much longer than the second. The caudal fin is long and pointed. It has a dermal ridge along the back between the 2 dorsal fins. The tiger shark has a lateral line which extends on the flank down most of the length of the side. It is an apex predator and its diet includes a wide variety of prey such as fish, crustaceans, sea birds, sea snakes, marine mammals such as bottlenose dolphins, spotted dolphins, dugongs, seals and sea lions and sea turtles. The tiger shark also eats other sharks and rays. The young tiger shark is found to prey largely on small fishes as well as various small jellyfishes, cephalopods and other mollusks. The male reaches sexual maturity at 292 cm in length while female at 330 to 345 cm in length. The female gives birth to 10 to 80 pups per litter after a gestation period of 16 months. A newborn is generally 51-66 cm long at birth. A tiger shark can grow up to 7.5 m in length and 807.4 kg in weight. It can live up to 50 years of age.

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