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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Fin-tastic Facts About The Tiger Shark For Kids

Tiger shark facts about a unique shark with dark gray verticle stripes.

The Tiger sharks got their name from dark gray vertical stripes covering the side of the body. These stripes fade as they reach adulthood. The stripes are more noticeable in the young ones. It is the fourth largest shark in the world and the second-largest predatory shark after the Great white shark.

So, what is unique about Tiger sharks? They are known for their dark gray vertical stripes and feeding habits. They prey on an endless list of animals. Their favorite food mainly includes smaller sharks, dolphins, sea turtles, sea birds, sea snakes, bony fishes, squid, clams, crabs, lobsters, shellfish, skates, porpoises, and rays. They would eat anything found in the ocean, even plastic. The Galeocerdo cuvier usually hunts at night, which means they can't be seen due to the cloudy ocean water when they swim around to find their prey.

The history of Galeocerdo cuvier sharks goes back to 1822; Lesueur and Peron first described it. You are probably wondering about it now. Read on to gather such fantastic information about this shark. If you enjoy reading about Galeocerdo cuvier, check out blacktip reef shark and frilled shark facts too.

Tiger Shark Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Tiger Shark?

Galeocerdo cuvier sharks are aggressive and eat anything they find and are easy to capture. They also feed on plastic, fishing gear, and other trash found in the ocean. Though they feed on many marine animals, they are found to attack and eat the Hawaiian monk seals and the green turtles regularly on their nesting sites near the beach in some areas like Hawaii.

Social interaction is not found in Galeocerdo cuvier sharks, even within their kind. They are individual and aggressive hunters, often found to attack other sharks and humans swimming near the beach areas. Fatal shark attacks have been reported in many areas. Their large size often leads to fatal accidents and is often found to bite people. Compared to other sharks, the Galeocerdo cuvier is an excellent hunter with good eyesight and an extremely sharp smell.

What class of animal does a Tiger Shark belong to?

The Tiger sharks are warm, saltwater sharks that belong to the class Chondrichthyes and the family Carcharhinidae.

How many Tiger Sharks are there in the world?

The Tiger sharks belong to the genus Galeocerdo and order Carcharhiniformes. It is the wealthiest order of shark species with more than 270 species. But the exact number of Tiger sharks is not available.

Where does a Tiger Shark live?

The Galeocerdo cuvier species are widely distributed and are found in the tropical and temperate ocean waters. It is found in both coastal waters and open ocean waters. They are warm, saltwater sharks living in the Gulf of Mexico, North America, South America, Caribbean Sea, Australia, Africa, Indonesia, China, and India. Although it is found to swim near the surface, it can go deep up to 460 ft.

What is a Tiger Shark's habitat?

The Tiger shark habitat comprises tropical and temperate ocean waters and shallow coastal areas. They prefer thick and opaque coastal waters to find different prey species and often gather in these areas. Sometimes, the Galeocerdo cuvier sharks are found far from their typical habitat. Many anglers have encountered them during the summer months in the offshore areas of the Canadian ocean waters while fishing for swordfish and tuna in or near the Gulf stream area. According to the change in season, the Galeocerdo cuvier sharks are known to migrate. During the cold winter season, they swim to the tropical waters from the temperate ocean waters and vice versa when summer arrives.

Who do Tiger Sharks live with?

The Galeocerdo cuvier sharks love to live alone. They are gathered in groups only during the mating season or collective feeding when they trap a large prey. Since they are migratory species, they are also found to swim to thousands of miles during the winter season to warmer ocean waters in groups.

How long does a Tiger Shark live?

The Tiger sharks live for 12 years. They gain maturity when they are four to six years old.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding of Tiger sharks occurs by internal fertilization. The females give birth to 10-80 pups. Although the females give birth to live young ones, the babies' placenta is not connected like in mammals. Instead, the embryos of the babies are developed inside the egg till its time to hatch. After the babies are developed and ready to hatch, the female Tiger sharks give birth.

After the pups are born, their food mainly comprises small fishes and some invertebrates. Although the adult Galeocerdo cuvier rarely has predators, the pups may be eaten by adult Tiger sharks and other big sharks. For this reason, pups and adults are often found in different habitats.

The adult Galeocerdo cuvier species prefer open coastal areas and coral reefs. The pups are found in bays and estuaries. This difference in habitat is mainly to protect the young ones from predators.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Galeocerdo cuvier species is mentioned as Near Threatened. Their number is constantly decreasing. Humans hunt them for their fins, skin, and the oil found in the liver.

Tiger Shark Fun Facts

What do Tiger Shark look like?

The Galeocerdo cuvier has unique characteristics that are easily distinguishable from other killer sharks. The Galeocerdo cuvier has a broad and flat head with a short snout and wide mouth, and the body is slender.

The Tiger shark teeth are broad with a double zig-zag cutting style that allows them to even cut the shells of the sea turtles without any effort. Tiger sharks' teeth are known to have a dual function. Tiger sharks comprise 44 -48 teeth on the upper jaw and 41-46 teeth on the lower jaw.

The caudal fins are long and pointed, solid, and arranged in a wave-like manner. The Tiger sharks have long fins that help them swim swiftly through the water, while the upper tail helps to increase the speed. The Galeocerdo cuvier makes slow body movements. The dorsal fins act as a wheel, allowing them to rotate quickly. These dorsal fins are located close to the tail.

The young Galeocerdo cuvier is 150-180 cm in length. They have spots, patches, and tiger-like stripes on the dorsal surface. These colored stripes are mainly present in the young ones to serve as camouflage since they stay near the coast below the water surface. These lines help them look like the shadows of waves of the water. As they become adults, the lines fade away but are found on the flanks and caudal areas. Even the color may change from greenish or bluish-gray to black or dark gray.

Brush up your knowledge about the Tiger shark before you hit the beach.

How cute are they?

The Galeocerdo cuvier sharks are average-looking with strong teeth patterns. The Tiger shark tooth blades are very sharp that can even cut the shell of the sea turtles. They are named Tiger sharks because of their unique stripes. The body is gray, and the stripes are dark gray arranged vertically. The underpart is pale or white.

How do they communicate?

The Galeocerdo cuvier can't make any noise. When in schools, they can visually communicate with each other by curving their body. Their other body language communication includes body signs like nodding their heads and opening their jaws. When the Tiger sharks are after the same prey, they try to scare off each other by putting on a slapping display.

They also can communicate through vibrations in the water by using an organ known as the lateral fin. The Galeocerdo cuvier uses their sense of smell to find mates and detect their prey. The Galeocerdo cuvier has a strong sense of smell that, with even a drop of blood in the water, the sharks will come running towards you.

How big is a Tiger Shark?

The biggest Tiger shark can be up to 18 ft (5.5 m) in length, making it one of the largest shark species. The Tiger shark size is two times smaller than the Great white sharks.

How fast can a Tiger Shark swim?

The Tiger shark speed is around 20 mph. The Galeocerdo cuvier usually swims slowly but increases its speed to catch its prey.

How much does a Tiger Shark weigh?

The Galeocerdo cuvier weight is around 2,000 lb (900 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male species are known as male Tiger sharks, and the female species are known as female Tiger sharks.

What would you call a baby Tiger Shark?

The baby Tiger sharks are known as Tiger shark pups.

What do they eat?

The Tiger shark diet comprises mammals, small sharks, turtles, porpoises, sea birds, bony fishes, shellfish, squid, lobsters, crabs, skates, rays, and many other marine creatures. The Tiger sharks' teeth make it easier to prey on animals for food. They are non-selective feeders and insatiable predators. The Galeocerdo cuvier also feeds on the plastic, metals, garbage, significant inorganic artifacts, and many other non-biodegradable items found in the sea. Many times plastics have been found in the stomach of these sharks.

Are they dangerous?

Yes, the Galeocerdo cuvier is dangerous to humans. The Galeocerdo cuvier is known for many fatal biting incidents with frequent visits to harbors, canals, and shallow reefs. They are one of the shark species dangerous to humans.

The Great white sharks are considered the most dangerous, with 314 attacks on humans, followed by the Galeocerdo cuvier with 111 attacks on humans and bull sharks with 100 attacks on humans. The least number is followed by blacktip sharks with 29 attacks on humans.

The Tiger sharks attack humans when they are confused or suspicious. If sharks find humans in the water, it goes near it to look over and often leads to severe incidents.

Would they make a good pet?

No, it is dangerous to keep them as pets.

Did you know...

The female Galeocerdo cuvier is known for its large litter size. They give birth to 10-80 young ones in just one litter. Surprisingly, the females produce only one litter of babies after every three years.

The Galeocerdo cuvier has few predators like killer whales and humans. They are sometimes caught by commercial fishing industries.

The Galeocerdo cuvier is also known as garbage fish since they swallow plastics, metals, empty cans, and many other items found in the sea.

The Galeocerdo cuvier is considered the most easily adaptable of all shark species.

Tiger Shark vs. Bull Shark

The similarity between Tiger Sharks and Bull Sharks is that both are killer sharks. Bull sharks attack large mammals, whereas Tiger sharks are responsible for attacking humans.

The difference between the Tiger sharks and bull Sharks is that the attacks made by the Tiger sharks are slightly more than the bull sharks. In April 2021, Tiger sharks were responsible for 131 human attacks with 34 fatal cases. The bull sharks were reported with 117 human attacks.

Does anything eat a Tiger Shark?

Killer whales and humans eat the Tiger sharks. The killer whales are larger than Tiger sharks, so it becomes easier for the killer whales to prey on them. The commercial fishing industry also captures the Galeocerdo cuvier for its skin, oil in the liver, and cartilage. The young ones are sometimes only 20 in long so large sharks and seals quickly eat them.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including Basking Shark or a Whale Shark.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Tiger Shark coloring pages.

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