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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Tiger Shark Galeocerdo cuvier

The tiger shark is the second most dangerous shark to humans, after the white shark. It is huge and has a heavy head and a mouth filled with serrated teeth that have the characteristic shape of a cockscomb.

One reason the tiger shark is so dangerous is that it prefers coastal waters and is also found in river estuaries and harbors, and so it frequently comes into contact with humans. It is reputed to eat almost anything—as well as eating smaller sharks, including its own young, other fish, marine mammals, turtles, and birds, it is an inveterate scavenger, and a huge variety of garbage has been found in tiger shark stomachs.

Young tiger sharks, born live after hatching from eggs inside the mother, begin life marked with blotches, which become “tiger stripes” in juveniles and fade by adulthood.

Learn more about Oceana's campaign to protect sharks.

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  • Order Carcharhiniformes
  • Length Up to 24 ft (7.4 m)
  • Weight Up to 1,750 lb (800 kg)
  • Depth To 1,150 ft (350 m)
  • Distribution Tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide
Tiger Shark habitat mapzoom image