Tiger shark

Last updated

Tiger shark
Temporal range:
Early Miocene – present [1]
Tiger shark.jpg
Tiger shark size.svg
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Superorder: Selachimorpha
Order: Carcharhiniformes
Family: Carcharhinidae
Genus: Galeocerdo
G. cuvier
Binomial name
Galeocerdo cuvier
Péron & Lesueur, 1822
Cypron-Range Galeocerdo cuvier.svg
Tiger shark range

The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) [3] is a species of requiem shark and the only extant member of the genus Galeocerdo. It is a large macropredator, capable of attaining a length over 5 m (16 ft 5 in). [4] Populations are found in many tropical and temperate waters, especially around central Pacific islands. Its name derives from the dark stripes down its body, which resemble a tiger's pattern, but fade as the shark matures. [5]


The tiger shark is a solitary, mostly nocturnal hunter. It is notable for having the widest food spectrum of all sharks, with a range of prey that includes crustaceans, fish, seals, birds, squid, turtles, sea snakes, dolphins, and even other smaller sharks. It also has a reputation as a "garbage eater", [5] consuming a variety of inedible, man-made objects that linger in its stomach. Though apex predators, tiger sharks are sometimes taken as prey by groups of killer whales. [6] It is considered a near threatened species because of finning and fishing by humans. [2]

The tiger shark is second only to the great white in recorded fatal attacks on humans, but these events are still exceedingly rare. [7] [8]


The shark was first described by Peron and Lesueur in 1822, and was given the name Squalus cuvier. [4] Müller and Henle in 1837 renamed it Galeocerdo tigrinus. [7] The genus, Galeocerdo, is derived from the Greek galeos, which means shark, and kerdo, the word for fox. [7] It is often colloquially called the man-eater shark. [7]

The tiger shark is a member of the order Carcharhiniformes, the most species-rich order of sharks, with more than 270 species also including the small catsharks and hammerhead sharks. [4] Members of this order are characterized by the presence of a nictitating membrane over the eyes, two dorsal fins, an anal fin, and five gill slits. It is the largest member of the Carcharhinidae family, commonly referred to as requiem sharks. This family consists of mostly slender but powerful mid- to large-sized sharks and includes some other well-known sharks, such as the blue shark (Prionace glauca), lemon shark (Negaprion brevirostris), and bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas). [5]


The tiger shark commonly attains adult length of 3.25–4.25 m (10 ft 8 in – 13 ft 11 in) and weighs often around 175 to 635 kg (386 to 1,400 lb). It is dimorphic, with females being the larger sex. Mature females are often over 3.7 m (12 ft 2 in) while mature males rarely get that large. [7] [9] [10] [11] Exceptionally large females reportedly can measure over 5 m (16 ft 5 in), and the largest males 4 m (13 ft 1 in). Weights of particularly large female tiger sharks can exceed 900 kg (2,000 lb). [10] [12] [13] One pregnant female caught off Australia reportedly measured 5.5 m (18 ft 1 in) long and weighed 1,524 kg (3,360 lb). Even larger unconfirmed catches have been claimed. [14] Some papers have accepted a record of an exceptional 7.4 m (24 ft 3 in) length for a tiger shark, but since this is far larger than any scientifically observed specimen, verification would be needed. [15] [16] A 2019 study suggested that it would have reached 8 m (26 ft) in maximum length. [17]

Among the largest extant sharks, the tiger shark ranks in average size only behind the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus), and the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). This makes it the second-largest predatory shark, after the great white. [18] Some other species such as megamouth sharks (Megachasma pelagios), Pacific sleeper sharks (Somniosus pacificus), Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus), and bluntnose sixgill sharks (Hexanchus griseus) broadly overlap in size with the tiger shark, but as these species are comparatively poorly studied, whether their typical mature size matches that of the tiger shark is unclear. [7] [14] The great hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran), a member of the same taxonomic order as the tiger shark, has a similar or even greater average body length, but is lighter and less bulky, with a maximum known weight of 580 kg (1,280 lb). [19]

Tiger shark teeth are unique with very sharp, pronounced serrations and an unmistakable sideways-pointing tip. Such dentition has developed to slice through flesh, bone, and other tough substances such as turtle shells. Like most sharks, its teeth are continually replaced by rows of new teeth throughout the shark's life. Relative to the shark's size, tiger shark teeth are considerably shorter than those of a great white shark, but they are nearly as broad as the root as the great white's teeth and are arguably better suited to slicing through hard-surfaced prey. [20] [21]

A tiger shark generally has long fins to provide lift as the shark maneuvers through water, while the long upper tail provides bursts of speed. The tiger shark normally swims using small body movements. [22]


The skin of a tiger shark can typically range from blue to light green with a white or light-yellow underbelly. The advantage of this is that when it is hunting for its prey, when prey looks at the shark from above, the shark will be camouflaged, since the water below is darker. When prey is below the shark and looks up the light underbelly will also camouflage the shark with the sunlight. This is known as countershading. Dark spots and stripes are most visible in young sharks and fade as the shark matures. Its head is somewhat wedge-shaped, which makes it easy to turn quickly to one side. [5] [23] They have small pits on the snout which hold electroreceptors called the ampullae of Lorenzini, which enable them to detect electric fields, including the weak electrical impulses generated by prey, which helps them to hunt. [20] Tiger sharks also have a sensory organ called a lateral line which extends on their flanks down most of the length of their sides. The primary role of this structure is to detect minute vibrations in the water. These adaptations allow the tiger shark to hunt in darkness and detect hidden prey. [24]


Sharks do not have moveable upper or lower eyelids, but the tiger shark—among other sharks—has a nictitating membrane, a clear eyelid that can cover the eye. [25] A reflective layer behind the tiger shark's retina, called the tapetum lucidum, allows light-sensing cells a second chance to capture photons of visible light. This enhances vision in low-light conditions. [26]

Distribution and habitat

Juvenile tiger shark in the Bahamas Tigershark3.jpg
Juvenile tiger shark in the Bahamas
Video of juvenile tiger shark at Lord Howe Island, Australia, from PLOS ONE

The tiger shark is often found close to the coast, mainly in tropical and subtropical waters throughout the world. [7] Its behavior is primarily nomadic, but is guided by warmer currents, and it stays closer to the equator throughout the colder months. It tends to stay in deep waters that line reefs, but it does move into channels to pursue prey in shallower waters. In the western Pacific Ocean, the shark has been found as far north as Japan and as far south as New Zealand. [4] It has also been recorded in the Mediterranean, once off Spain and once off Sicily. [27]

Tiger sharks can be seen in the Gulf of Mexico, North American beaches, and parts of South America. It is also commonly observed in the Caribbean Sea. Other locations where tiger sharks are seen include off Africa, China, India, Australia, and Indonesia. [5] Certain tiger sharks have been recorded at depths just shy of 900 m (3,000 ft). [7]


The tiger shark is an apex predator [28] and has a reputation for eating almost anything. [7] These predators swim close inland to eat at night, and during the day swim out into deeper waters. [29] Young tiger sharks are found to feed largely on small fish, as well as various small jellyfish, and mollusks including cephalopods. Around the time they attain 2.3 m (7.5 ft), or near sexual maturity, their selection expands considerably, and much larger animals become regular prey. [30] Numerous fish, crustaceans, sea birds, sea snakes, [31] marine mammals (e.g. bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops), common dolphins (Delphinus), [32] spotted dolphins (Stenella), [33] dugongs (Dugong dugon), seals and sea lions, and sea turtles (including the three largest species: the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), [34] the loggerhead (Caretta caretta) [35] and the green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), [30] ) are regularly eaten by adult tiger sharks. In fact, adult sea turtles have been found in up to 20.8% of studied tiger shark stomachs, indicating somewhat of a dietary preference for sea turtles where they are commonly encountered. [36] They also eat other sharks (including adult sandbar sharks (Carcharhinus plumbeus)), as well as rays, and sometimes even other tiger sharks. [5] [30]

Due to high risk of predation, dolphins often avoid regions inhabited by tiger sharks. [37] Injured or ailing whales may also be attacked and eaten. A group was documented killing an ailing humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) in 2006 near Hawaii. [38] A scavenger, the tiger shark will feed on dead whales, and has been documented doing so alongside great white sharks. [39]

Evidence of dugong predation was identified in one study that found dugong tissue in 15 of 85 tiger sharks caught off the Australian coast. [40] Additionally, examination of adult dugongs has shown scars from failed shark attacks. [41] To minimize attacks, dugong microhabitats shift similarly to those of known tiger shark prey when the sharks are abundant. [42]

The broad, heavily calcified jaws and nearly terminal mouth, combined with robust, serrated teeth, enable the tiger shark to take on these large prey. [37] In addition, excellent eyesight and acute sense of smell enable it to react to faint traces of blood and follow them to the source. The ability to pick up low-frequency pressure waves enables the shark to advance towards an animal with confidence, even in murky water. [22] The shark circles its prey and studies it by prodding it with its snout. [22] When attacking, the shark often eats its prey whole, although larger prey are often eaten in gradual large bites and finished over time. [22]

Notably, terrestrial mammals, including horses (Equus ferus caballus), goats (Capra aegagrus hircus), sheep (Ovis aries), dogs (Canis lupus familiaris), cats (Felis catus), and brown rats (Rattus norvegicus), are fairly common in the stomach contents of tiger sharks around the coasts of Hawaii. [30] In one case, remains of two flying foxes were found in the stomach of this shark. [43] Because of its aggressive and indiscriminate feeding style, it often mistakenly eats inedible objects, such as automobile license plates, oil cans, tires, and baseballs. [5]

Predation by killer whales

Although tiger sharks are apex predators, they are sometimes preyed on by pods of killer whales. A pod's method of hunting a tiger shark is to drive it to the surface. A killer whale will then grab the shark mid-body and hold it upside down to induce tonic immobility and drown the shark. The killer whales bite off the shark's fins before disemboweling and devouring it midwater. [6]

Swimming efficiency and stealth

All tiger sharks generally swim slowly, which, combined with cryptic coloration, may make them difficult for prey to detect in some habitats. They are especially well camouflaged against dark backgrounds. [37] Despite their sluggish appearance, tiger sharks are one of the strongest swimmers of the carcharhinid sharks. Once the shark has come close, a speed burst allows it to reach the intended prey before it can escape. [37]


Males reach sexual maturity at 2.3 to 2.9 m (7.5 to 9.5 ft) and females at 2.5 to 3.5 m (8.2 to 11.5 ft). [20] Typical weight of relatively young sexually mature specimens, which often locally comprise the majority of tiger sharks encountered per game-fishing and scientific studies, is around 80 to 130 kg (180 to 290 lb). [21] [44] Females mate once every three years. [5] They breed by internal fertilization. The male inserts one of his claspers into the female's genital opening (cloaca), acting as a guide for the sperm. The male uses his teeth to hold the female still during the procedure, often causing the female considerable discomfort. Mating in the Northern Hemisphere generally takes place between March and May, with birth between April and June the following year. In the Southern Hemisphere, mating takes place in November, December, or early January. The tiger shark is the only species in its family that is ovoviviparous; its eggs hatch internally and the young are born live when fully developed. [7] Tiger Sharks are unique among all sharks in the fact that they employ embrytrophy to nourish their young inside the womb. The young gestate in sacks which are filled with a fluid that nourishes them. This allows for the young to dramatically increase in size, even though they have no placental connection to the mother. [45]

The young develop inside the mother's body up to 16 months. Litters range from 10 to 80 pups. [7] A newborn is generally 51 to 76 cm (20 to 30 in) long. [7] How long tiger sharks live is unknown, but they can live longer than 12 years. [5]


Tiger shark ontogeny has been little studied until recently, but studies by Hammerschlag et al., indicated that as they grow, their tails become more symmetrical with age. Additionally, while the heads on juvenile tiger sharks are more conical and similar to other requiem sharks, adult tiger sharks have a head which is relatively broader. The reason for the larger caudal fin on juvenile tiger sharks is theorized to be an adaptation to escape predation by larger predators and to catch quicker-moving prey. As tiger sharks mature, their head also becomes much wider and their tails no longer become as large in proportion to their body size as when they are juveniles because they do not face elevated levels of predation risk upon maturity. The results of this study were interpreted as reflecting two ecological transitions: as tiger sharks mature they become more migratory and having a symmetrical tail is more advantageous in long-distance traveling, and that tiger sharks consume more diverse prey items with age, which requires a greater bite force and broader head. [46]


A large tiger shark caught in Kane`ohe Bay, O`ahu in 1966 Tiger shark, Hawaii Aii.jpg
A large tiger shark caught in Kaneʻohe Bay, Oʻahu in 1966

The tiger shark is captured and killed for its fins, flesh, and liver. It is caught regularly in target and nontarget fisheries. Several populations have declined where they have been heavily fished. Continued demand for fins may result in further declines. They are considered a near threatened species due to excessive finning and fishing by humans according to International Union for Conservation of Nature. [2] In June 2018 the New Zealand Department of Conservation classified the tiger shark as "Migrant" with the qualifier "Secure Overseas" under the New Zealand Threat Classification System. [47]

While shark fin has very few nutrients, shark liver has a high concentration of vitamin A, which is used in the production of vitamin oils. In addition, the tiger shark is captured and killed for its distinct skin, as well as by big-game fishers. [7]

In 2010, Greenpeace International added the tiger shark to its seafood red list, which is a list of commonly sold fish likely to come from unsustainable fisheries. [48]

Relationship with humans

Although sharks rarely bite humans, the tiger shark is reported to be responsible for a large share of fatal shark-bite incidents, and is regarded as one of the most dangerous shark species. [49] [50] They often visit shallow reefs, harbors, and canals, creating the potential for encounter with humans. [5] The tiger shark also dwells in river mouths and other runoff-rich water. [7] [20] While it ranks second on the list of number of recorded shark attacks on humans, behind only the great white shark, such attacks are few and very seldom fatal. [7] [49] Typically, three to four shark bites occur per year in Hawaii; one notable survivor of such an attack is surfing champion Bethany Hamilton, who lost her left arm at age 13 to a tiger shark in 2003. This bite rate is very low, considering that thousands of people swim, surf, and dive in Hawaiian waters every day. [51] Human interactions with tiger sharks in Hawaiian waters have been shown to increase between September and November, when tiger shark females are believed to migrate to the islands to give birth. [52]

Between 1959 and 2000, 4,668 tiger sharks were culled in an effort to protect the tourism industry. Despite damaging the shark population, these efforts were shown to be ineffective in decreasing the number of interactions between humans and tiger sharks. Feeding sharks in Hawaii (except for traditional Hawaiian cultural or religious practices) is illegal, [53] [54] and interaction with them, such as cage diving, is discouraged. South African shark behaviorist and shark diver Mark Addison demonstrated divers could interact and dive with them outside of a shark cage in a 2007 Discovery Channel special, [55] and underwater photographer Fiona Ayerst swam with them in the Bahamas. [55] [56] At "Tiger Beach" off Grand Bahama, uncaged diving with – and even the handling of – female tiger sharks has become a routine occurrence. [57]


Tiger sharks are considered to be sacred 'aumākua (ancestor spirits) by some native Hawaiians. [58]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shark</span> Superorder of predatory cartilaginous fish

Sharks are a group of elasmobranch fish characterized by a cartilaginous skeleton, five to seven gill slits on the sides of the head, and pectoral fins that are not fused to the head. Modern sharks are classified within the clade Selachimorpha and are the sister group to the rays. However, the term "shark" is also used to refer to extinct shark-like members of the subclass Elasmobranchii, such as hybodonts, that lie outside the modern group.

Great white shark Species of large lamniform shark

The great white shark, also known as the white shark, white pointer, or simply great white, is a species of large mackerel shark which can be found in the coastal surface waters of all the major oceans. It is notable for its size, with larger female individuals growing to 6.1 m (20 ft) in length and 1,905–2,268 kg (4,200–5,000 lb) in weight at maturity. However, most are smaller; males measure 3.4 to 4.0 m, and females measure 4.6 to 4.9 m on average. According to a 2014 study, the lifespan of great white sharks is estimated to be as long as 70 years or more, well above previous estimates, making it one of the longest lived cartilaginous fishes currently known. According to the same study, male great white sharks take 26 years to reach sexual maturity, while the females take 33 years to be ready to produce offspring. Great white sharks can swim at speeds of 25 km/hr (16 mph) for short bursts and to depths of 1,200 m (3,900 ft).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Blue shark</span> Species of shark

The blue shark, also known as the great blue shark, is a species of requiem shark, in the family Carcharhinidae, that inhabits deep waters in the world's temperate and tropical oceans. Averaging around 3.1 m (10 ft) and preferring cooler waters, the blue shark migrates long distances, such as from New England to South America. It is listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pacific sleeper shark</span> Species of shark

The Pacific sleeper shark is a sleeper shark of the family Somniosidae, found in the North Pacific on continental shelves and slopes in Arctic and temperate waters between latitudes 70°N and 22°N, from the surface to 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) deep. Records from southern oceans are likely misidentifications of relatives. Its length is up to 4.4 m (14 ft), although it could possibly reach lengths in excess of 7 m (23 ft).

Dwarf sperm whale Species of whale

The dwarf sperm whale is a sperm whale that inhabits temperate and tropical oceans worldwide, in particular continental shelves and slopes. It was first described by biologist Richard Owen in 1866, based on illustrations by naturalist Sir Walter Elliot. The species was considered to be synonymous with the pygmy sperm whale from 1878 until 1998. The dwarf sperm whale is a small whale, 2 to 2.7 m and 136 to 272 kg, that has a gray coloration, square head, small jaw, and robust body. Its appearance is very similar to the pygmy sperm whale, distinguished mainly by the position of the dorsal fin on the body–nearer the middle in the dwarf sperm whale and nearer the tail in the other.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Megalodon</span> Extinct giant shark species from 23 to 3.6 million years ago

Megalodon, meaning "big tooth", is an extinct species of mackerel shark that lived approximately 23 to 3.6 million years ago (Mya), from the Early Miocene to the Pliocene epochs. It was formerly thought to be a member of the family Lamnidae and a close relative of the great white shark. However, it is now classified into the extinct family Otodontidae, which diverged from the great white shark during the Early Cretaceous.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Blacktip reef shark</span> Species of shark

The blacktip reef shark is a species of requiem shark, in the family Carcharhinidae, which can be easily identified by the prominent black tips on its fins. Among the most abundant sharks inhabiting the tropical coral reefs of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, this species prefers shallow, inshore waters. Its exposed first dorsal fin is a common sight in the region. The blacktip reef shark is usually found over reef ledges and sandy flats, though it has also been known to enter brackish and freshwater environments. It typically attains a length of 1.6 m (5.2 ft).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cookiecutter shark</span> Species of shark

The cookiecutter shark, also called the cigar shark, is a species of small squaliform shark in the family Dalatiidae. This shark occurs in warm, oceanic waters worldwide, particularly near islands, and has been recorded as deep as 3.7 km (2.3 mi). It migrates vertically up to 3 km (1.9 mi) every day, approaching the surface at dusk and descending with the dawn. Reaching only 42–56 cm (16.5–22 in) in length, the cookiecutter shark has a long, cylindrical body with a short, blunt snout, large eyes, two tiny spineless dorsal fins, and a large caudal fin. It is dark brown, with light-emitting photophores covering its underside except for a dark "collar" around its throat and gill slits.

Broadnose sevengill shark Species of shark

The broadnose sevengill shark is the only extant member of the genus Notorynchus, in the family Hexanchidae. It is recognizable because of its seven gill slits, while most shark species have five gill slits, with the exception of the members of the order Hexanchiformes and the sixgill sawshark. This shark has a large, thick body, with a broad head and blunt snout. The top jaw has jagged, cusped teeth and the bottom jaw has comb-shaped teeth. Its single dorsal fin is set far back along the spine towards the caudal fin, and is behind the pelvic fins. In this shark the upper caudal fin is much longer than the lower, and is slightly notched near the tip. Like many sharks, this sevengill is counter-shaded. Its dorsal surface is silver-gray to brown in order to blend with the dark water and substrate when viewed from above. In counter to this, its ventral surface is very pale, blending with the sunlit water when viewed from below. The body and fins are covered in a scattering of small black & white spots. In juveniles, their fins often have white margins.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sand tiger shark</span> Species of shark

The sand tiger shark, grey nurse shark, spotted ragged-tooth shark or blue-nurse sand tiger, is a species of shark that inhabits subtropical and temperate waters worldwide. It inhabits the continental shelf, from sandy shorelines and submerged reefs to a depth of around 191 m (627 ft). They dwell in the waters of Japan, Australia, South Africa, and the east coasts of North and South America. The sand tiger shark also inhabited the Mediterranean, however it was last seen there in 2003 and is presumed extinct in the region. Despite its common names, it is not closely related to either the tiger shark or the nurse shark.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dusky shark</span> Species of shark

The dusky shark is a species of requiem shark, in the family Carcharhinidae, occurring in tropical and warm-temperate continental seas worldwide. A generalist apex predator, the dusky shark can be found from the coast to the outer continental shelf and adjacent pelagic waters, and has been recorded from a depth of 400 m (1,300 ft). Populations migrate seasonally towards the poles in the summer and towards the equator in the winter, traveling hundreds to thousands of kilometers. One of the largest members of its genus, the dusky shark reaches 4.2 m (14 ft) in length and 347 kg (765 lb) in weight. It has a slender, streamlined body and can be identified by its short round snout, long sickle-shaped pectoral fins, ridge between the first and second dorsal fins, and faintly marked fins.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kitefin shark</span> Species of shark

The kitefin shark or seal shark is a species of squaliform shark in the family Dalatiidae, and the only species in its genus. It is found sporadically around the world, usually close to the sea floor at depths of 200–600 m (660–1,970 ft). With a sizable oil-filled liver to maintain neutral buoyancy, this shark is able to cruise slowly through the water while expending little energy. The kitefin shark, the largest luminous vertebrate on record, has a slender body with a very short, blunt snout, large eyes, and thick lips. Its teeth are highly differentiated between the upper and lower jaws, with the upper teeth small and narrow and the lower teeth large, triangular, and serrated. Its typical length is 1.0–1.4 m (3.3–4.6 ft), though examples as long as 5.9 ft (180 cm) have been encountered.

Smalltooth sand tiger Species of shark

The smalltooth sand tiger or bumpytail ragged-tooth is a species of mackerel shark in the family Odontaspididae, with a patchy but worldwide distribution in tropical and warm temperate waters. They usually inhabit deepwater rocky habitats, though they are occasionally encountered in shallow water, and have been known to return to the same location year after year. This rare species is often mistaken for the much more common grey nurse shark, from which it can be distinguished by its first dorsal fin, which is larger than the second and placed further forward. It grows to at least 4.1 m (13.5 ft) in length.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sicklefin lemon shark</span> Species of shark

The sicklefin lemon shark or sharptooth lemon shark is a species of requiem shark belonging to the family Carcharhinidae, widely distributed in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific. It is closely related to the better-known lemon shark of the Americas; the two species are almost identical in appearance, both being stout-bodied sharks with broad heads, two dorsal fins of nearly equal size, and a plain yellow-tinged coloration. As its common name suggests, the sicklefin lemon shark differs from its American counterpart in having more falcate (sickle-shaped) fins. This large species grows up to 3.8 m (12 ft) long. It generally inhabits water less than 92 m (302 ft) deep in a variety of habitats, from mangrove estuaries to coral reefs.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Spinner shark</span> Species of shark

The spinner shark is a species of requiem shark, in the family Carcharhinidae, named for the spinning leaps it makes as a part of its feeding strategy. This species occurs in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide, except for in the eastern Pacific Ocean. It is found from coastal to offshore habitats to a depth of 100 m (330 ft), though it prefers shallow water. The spinner shark resembles a larger version of the blacktip shark, with a slender body, long snout, and black-marked fins. This species can be distinguished from the blacktip shark by the first dorsal fin, which has a different shape and is placed further back, and by the black tip on the anal fin. It attains a maximum length of 3 m (9.8 ft).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tiger catshark</span> Species of shark

The tiger catshark is a species of catshark, belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae. It is found over sandy areas and near reef peripheries off South Africa and perhaps Mozambique, from close to shore to usually no deeper than 100 m (330 ft). Reaching a length of 50 cm (20 in), this small, slim shark has a broad, flattened head with an upturned snout tip. It can additionally be identified by its dorsal colour pattern of ten dark brown saddles on a yellowish brown background.

<i>Rhina ancylostoma</i> Species of cartilaginous fish

Rhina ancylostoma, the bowmouth guitarfish, shark ray or mud skate, is a species of ray and a member of the family Rhinidae. Its evolutionary affinities are not fully resolved, though it may be related to true guitarfishes and skates. This rare species occurs widely in the tropical coastal waters of the western Indo-Pacific, at depths of up to 90 m (300 ft). Highly distinctive in appearance, Rhina ancylostoma has a wide and thick body with a rounded snout and large shark-like dorsal and tail fins. Its mouth forms a W-shaped undulating line, and there are multiple thorny ridges over its head and back. It has a dorsal color pattern of many white spots over a bluish gray to brown background, with a pair of prominent black markings over the pectoral fins. This large species can reach a length of 2.7 m (8.9 ft) and weight of 135 kg (298 lb).

<i>Livyatan</i> Extinct genus of sperm whale from the Miocene epoch

Livyatan is an extinct genus of macroraptorial sperm whale containing one known species: L. melvillei. The genus name was inspired by the biblical sea monster Leviathan, and the species name by Herman Melville, the author of the famous novel Moby Dick about a white bull sperm whale. It is mainly known from the Pisco Formation of Peru during the Tortonian stage of the Miocene epoch, about 9.9–8.9 million years ago (mya); however, finds of isolated teeth from other locations such as Chile, Argentina, South Africa, and Australia imply that either it or a close relative survived into the Pliocene, around 5 mya, and was present throughout the Southern Hemisphere. It was a member of a group of macroraptorial sperm whales and was probably an apex predator, preying on whales, seals, and so forth. Characteristically of raptorial sperm whales, Livyatan had functional, enamel-coated teeth on the upper and lower jaws, as well as several features suitable for hunting large prey.

Intraguild predation Killing and sometimes eating of potential competitors

Intraguild predation, or IGP, is the killing and sometimes eating of a potential competitor of a different species. This interaction represents a combination of predation and competition, because both species rely on the same prey resources and also benefit from preying upon one another. Intraguild predation is common in nature and can be asymmetrical, in which one species feeds upon the other, or symmetrical, in which both species prey upon each other. Because the dominant intraguild predator gains the dual benefits of feeding and eliminating a potential competitor, IGP interactions can have considerable effects on the structure of ecological communities.

<i>Galeocerdo alabamensis</i> Extinct species of shark

Galeocerdo alabamensis is an extinct relative of the modern tiger shark. Nomenclature of this shark has been debated, and recent literature identified it more closely with the Physogaleus genus of prehistoric shark, rather than Galeocerdo. The classification of Physogaleus is known as tiger-like sharks while Galeocerdo refers to tiger sharks. In 2003, P. alabamensis was classified as Galeocerdo. However, in 2019 they were proclaimed to be more morphologically similar to the genus Physogaleus. This definition was based primarily on tooth shape, as the majority of information on P. alabamensis is a result of studying tooth fossils. Distinctions between Physogaleus and Galeocerdo are difficult with extinct sharks from the Oilgocene/Miocene as there is little paleobiological information allowing for hard conclusions.


  1. "Fossilworks: Galeocerdo cuvieri". fossilworks.org. Archived from the original on 2020-07-31. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  2. 1 2 3 Ferreira, L.C.; Simpfendorfer, C. (2019). "Galeocerdo cuvier". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . 2019: e.T39378A2913541. doi: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-1.RLTS.T39378A2913541.en . Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  3. "ITIS Report – Galeocerdo cuvier". Integrated Taxonomic Information System!. Archived from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Froese, Rainer; Pauly, Daniel (eds.) (2011). "Galeocerdo cuvier" in FishBase. July 2011 version.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ritter, Erich K. (15 December 1999). "Fact Sheet: Tiger Sharks". Shark Info. Archived from the original on 21 March 2009. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  6. 1 2 "Orcas Vs Shark: Killer Whales Take Down Tiger Shark". Archived from the original on 2021-04-28. Retrieved 2020-08-14 via www.youtube.com.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Knickle, Craig (8 May 2017). "Tiger Shark Biological Profile". Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department. Archived from the original on 2020-07-19. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  8. "Yearly Worldwide Shark Attack Summary". floridamuseum.ufl.edu. Archived from the original on 2021-06-11. Retrieved 2021-06-11.
  9. Marin-Osorno, R., Ezcurra, J. M., & O’Sullivan, J. B. (2017). Husbandry of the Tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier, at the Acuario de Veracruz, México. The elasmobranch husbandry manual II: Recent advances in the care of sharks, rays and their relatives, 23–32.
  10. 1 2 Meyer, C. G., O'Malley, J. M., Papastamatiou, Y. P., Dale, J. J., Hutchinson, M. R., Anderson, J. M., Royer, M. A. & Holland, K. N. (2014). Growth and maximum size of tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) in Hawaii. PLoS One, 9(1), e84799.
  11. Randall, J. E. (1986). Sharks of Arabia. University of California.
  12. Hinman, B. (2015). Keystone Species That Live in the Sea and Along the Coastline. Mitchell Lane Publishers, Inc.
  13. Ramirez, F., & Davenport, T. L. (2013). Elasmobranchs from marine and freshwater environments in Colombia: A review. Current Politics and Economics of South and Central America, 6(4), 483.
  14. 1 2 Wood, Gerald (1983). The Guinness Book of Animal Facts and Feats . ISBN   978-0-85112-235-9.
  15. Simpfendorfer, C. A.; Goodreid, A. B.; McAuley, R. B. (2001). "Size, sex and geographic variation in the diet of the tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier, from Western Australian waters". Environmental Biology of Fishes. 61 (1): 37–46. doi:10.1023/A:1011021710183. S2CID   39996373.
  16. Tobuni, I. M.; Benabdallah, B. A. R.; Serena, F.; Shakman, E. A. (2016). "First documented presence of Galeocerdo cuvier (Péron & Lesueur, 1822) (ELASMOBRANCHII, CARCHARHINIDAE) in the Mediterranean basin (Libyan waters)". Marine Biodiversity Records. 9 (1): 94. doi: 10.1186/s41200-016-0089-3 .
  17. Pimiento, C.; Cantalapiedra, J.L.; Shimada, K.; Field, D.J.; Smaers, J.B. (2019). "Evolutionary pathways toward gigantism in sharks and rays". Evolution. 73 (3): 588–599. doi:10.1111/evo.13680. ISSN   1558-5646. PMID   30675721. S2CID   59224442.
  18. https://oceana.org/marine-life/sharks-rays/tiger-shark#:~:text=Reaching%20lengths%20of%20at%20least,or%20are%20able%20to%20capture Archived 2021-04-21 at the Wayback Machine .
  19. "Record Hammerhead Pregnant With 55 Pups". Associated Press via Discovery News. July 1, 2006. Archived from the original on June 22, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2008.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  20. 1 2 3 4 Tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier at marinebio.org Accessed July, 2011.
  21. 1 2 Randall, J. E. (1992). Review of the biology of the tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier). Marine and Freshwater Research, 43(1), 21–31.
  22. 1 2 3 4 "Tiger Shark". ladywildlife.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2006-12-21.
  23. Canadian Shark Research Laboratory, Tiger Shark – Bedford Institute of Oceanography
  24. Tiger Shark – The Province of New Brunswick Canada Archived 2011-07-02 at the Wayback Machine . New Brunswick. Retrieved 2011-06-09.
  25. Gilbert, Perry W. (1970). "Studies on the anatomy, physiology, and behavior of sharks" (PDF). Mote Marine Laboratory . Archived (PDF) from the original on March 13, 2018. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  26. Hart, Nathan S.; Lisney, Thomas J.; Collin, Shaun P. (2006). "Visual Communication in Elasmobranchs". In Ladich, Friedrich (ed.). Communication in Fishes. Enfield, NH: Science Publishers. pp. 346–347. ISBN   9781578084067. OCLC   63187557. Archived from the original on 2021-10-09. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  27. "Galeocerdo cuvier". CIESM Atlas of Exotic Fishes in the Mediterranean Sea. CIESM. Archived from the original on 1 July 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  28. Heithaus, Michael R. (May 2001). "The Biology of Tiger Sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, in Shark Bay, Western Australia: Sex Ratio, Size Distribution, Diet, and Seasonal Changes in Catch Rates". Environmental Biology of Fishes. 61 (1): 25–36. doi:10.1023/A:1011021210685. S2CID   4499470.
  29. Tiger Sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier Archived 2013-07-06 at WebCite . marinebio.org
  30. 1 2 3 4 Lowe, Christopher G.; Wetherbee, Bradley M.; Crow, Gerald L.; Tester, Albert L. (1996). "Ontogenetic dietary shifts and feeding behavior of the tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier, in Hawaiian waters" (PDF). Environmental Biology of Fishes. 47 (2): 203. doi:10.1007/BF00005044. S2CID   28002265. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-01-07.
  31. Heithaus, M. R.; Dill, L.; Marshall, G.; Buhleier, B. (2004). "Habitat use and foraging behavior of tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) in a seagrass ecosystem" (PDF). Marine Biology. 140 (2): 237–248. doi:10.1007/s00227-001-0711-7. S2CID   83545503. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2021-01-18. Retrieved 2010-05-04.
  32. Heithaus, M. R.; Dill, L. (2002). "Food availability and tiger shark predation risk influence bottlenose dolphin habitat use" (PDF). Ecology. 83 (2): 480–491. doi:10.1890/0012-9658(2002)083[0480:FAATSP]2.0.CO;2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-06.
  33. Maldini, Daniela (2003). "Evidence of predation by a tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) on a spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata) off Oahu, Hawaii" (PDF). Aquatic Mammals. 29 (1): 84–87. doi:10.1578/016754203101023915. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2010-12-24. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
  34. Tiger Sharks Killed for Eating Leatherback Turtles Archived 2013-01-26 at the Wayback Machine . Shark Defenders (2011-04-16). Retrieved on 2013-03-23.
  35. Shark Bay Ecosystem Research Project Archived 2013-03-21 at the Wayback Machine . .fiu.edu. Retrieved on 2013-03-23.
  36. Witzell, W. N. (1987). Selective predation on large cheloniid sea turtles by tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier). Japanese Journal of Herpetology, 12(1), 22–29.
  37. 1 2 3 4 Heithaus, Michael R. (January 2001). "Predator–prey and competitive interactions between sharks (order Selachii) and dolphins (suborder Odontoceti): a review". Journal of Zoology. 253 (1): 53–68. CiteSeerX . doi:10.1017/S0952836901000061.
  38. Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (2012-08-07). "Humpback Whale Shark Attack: A Natural Phenomenon Caught on Camera". Archived from the original on 2010-06-23. Retrieved 2010-05-04.
  39. Dudley, Sheldon F. J.; Anderson-Reade, Michael D.; Thompson, Greg S.; McMullen, Paul B. (2000). "Concurrent scavenging off a whale carcass by great white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias, and tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier" (PDF). Fishery Bulletin. 98: 646–649. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 May 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  40. Simpfendorfer, Colin A.; Goodreid, Adrian B.; McAuley, Rory B. (1 January 2001). "Size, Sex And Geographic Variation in the Diet of the Tiger Shark, Galeocerdo cuvier, From Western Australian Waters". Environmental Biology of Fishes. 61 (1): 37–46. doi:10.1023/A:1011021710183. S2CID   39996373.
  41. Anderson, Paul K. (1995). "Scarring and photoidentification of dugongs (Dugong dugon) in Shark Bay, Western Australia" (PDF). Aquatic Mammals. 21 (3): 205–211. ISSN   0167-5427. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 20, 2014. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  42. Wirsing, Aaron J.; Heithaus, Michael R.; Dill, Lawrence M. (July 2007). "Living on the edge: dugongs prefer to forage in microhabitats that allow escape from rather than avoidance of predators". Animal Behaviour. 74 (1): 93–101. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2006.11.016. S2CID   18058488.
  43. Mikula, P. (2015). "Fish and amphibians as bat predators". European Journal of Ecology. 1 (1): 71–80. doi: 10.1515/eje-2015-0010 .
  44. Pepperell, J. 1992. Trends in the distribution, species composition and size of sharks caught by gamefish anglers off southeastern Australia, 1961–1990. In: J. Pepperell (ed.), Sharks: Biology and Fisheries. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, pp. 213–225. CSIRO Publications, Melbourne, Australia.
  45. Castro, José I.; Sato, Keiichi; Bodine, Ashby B. (January 2016). "A novel mode of embryonic nutrition in the tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier". Marine Biology Research. 12 (2): 200–205. doi:10.1080/17451000.2015.1099677. S2CID   87259499.
  46. Fu, Amy L.; Hammerschlag, Neil; Lauder, George V.; Wilga, Cherl D.; Kuo, Chi-Yun; Irschick, Duncan J. (May 2016). "Ontogeny of head and caudal fin shape of an apex marine predator: The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier)" (PDF). Journal of Morphology . 277 (5): 556–564. doi:10.1002/jmor.20515. PMID   26869274. S2CID   17705191. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 7, 2020 via the University of Miami.
  47. Duffy, Clinton A. J.; Francis, Malcolm; Dunn, M. R.; Finucci, Brit; Ford, Richard; Hitchmough, Rod; Rolfe, Jeremy (2018). Conservation status of New Zealand chondrichthyans (chimaeras, sharks and rays), 2016 (PDF). Wellington, New Zealand: Department of Conservation. p. 10. ISBN   9781988514628. OCLC   1042901090. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2019-01-28. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  48. Greenpeace International Seafood Red list Archived 2013-03-30 at the Wayback Machine . greenpeace.org
  49. 1 2 "ISAF Statistics on Attacking Species of Shark". International Shark Attack File. Florida Museum of Natural History University of Florida. Archived from the original on 2012-08-31. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  50. Ritter, Erich K. (15 February 1999). "Which shark species are really dangerous?". Shark Info. Archived from the original on 30 December 2005. Retrieved 22 January 2006.
  51. "Tiger Shark Research Program". Shark & Reef Fish Research. Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. Archived from the original on 2006-01-27. Retrieved 2006-01-22.
  52. Main, Douglas (September 10, 2013). "Hawaii tiger shark migration in fall coincides with rise in bites". CBS Science News. Archived from the original on February 3, 2014. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  53. "Prohibition of Shark Feeding". Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawaii Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original on 2014-08-20. Retrieved 2014-05-26.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  54. "Federal Fishery Managers Vote To Prohibit Shark Feeding" (PDF). Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-06-08. Retrieved 2014-05-26.
  55. 1 2 Donahue, Ann (30 July 2007). "Shark Week: 'Deadly Stripes: Tiger Sharks'". LA Times . Archived from the original on 17 August 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2007.
  56. Riveting Shark Encounters: Fiona Ayerst recounts ... gentle tiger shark in the warm silky waters of the Bahamas Archived 2014-08-19 at the Wayback Machine . Magazines.co.za (June/July 2009)
  57. "Tiger shark handling". Jonathan Bird's Blue World. Archived from the original on February 26, 2017. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
  58. "Hawaiian Sharks | Parts of a Shark and Behavior". www.mauiinformationguide.com. Archived from the original on 2019-10-01. Retrieved 2019-10-01.