Tiger Shark

Discover the incredibly diverse diet of these sea scavengers. Find out about the threats that tiger sharks face wherever they occur.

So called because of the tiger-like stripes on juveniles, the tiger shark is, like its terrestrial namesake, a voracious hunter.

Common Name: Tiger Shark
Scientific Name: Galeocerdo cuvier
Type: Fish
Diet: Carnivores
Average life span in Captivity:  Up to 15 years.
Size: 10 to 14 ft
Weight: 850 to 1,400 lbs

Size relative to a 6-ft man

IUCN Red List Status: 
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The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is widely recognized as the most comprehensive, objective global approach for evaluating the conservation status of plant and animal species.

lc

Least Concern

At relatively low risk of extinction

nt

Near Threatened

Likely to become vulnerable in the near future

vu

Vulnerable

At high risk of extinction in the wild

en

Endangered

At very high risk of extinction in the wild

cr

Critically Endangered

At extremely high risk of extinction in the wild

ew

Extinct in the Wild

Survives only in captivity

ex

Extinct

No surviving individuals in the wild or in captivity

Data Deficient

Not enough information available to make an assessment

Not Evaluated

No assessment has been made

?
Near Threatened
lc
nt
vu
en
cr
ew
ex
least concernextinct
Current Population Trend: 

Unknown


Tiger sharks are named for the dark, vertical stripes found mainly on juveniles. As these sharks mature, the lines begin to fade and almost disappear.

Shark Attacks

These large, blunt-nosed predators have a duly earned reputation as man-eaters. They are second only to great whites in attacking people. But because they have a near completely undiscerning palate, they are not likely to swim away after biting a human, as great whites frequently do.

Hunting

They are consummate scavengers, with excellent senses of sight and smell and a nearly limitless menu of diet items. They have sharp, highly serrated teeth and powerful jaws that allow them to crack the shells of sea turtles and clams. The stomach contents of captured tiger sharks have included stingrays, sea snakes, seals, birds, squids, and even license plates and old tires.

Population

Tiger sharks are common in tropical and sub-tropical waters throughout the world. Large specimens can grow to as much as 20 to 25 feet in length and weigh more than 1,900 pounds.

Threats to Survival

They are heavily harvested for their fins, skin, and flesh, and their livers contain high levels of vitamin A, which is processed into vitamin oil. They have extremely low repopulation rates, and therefore may be highly susceptible to fishing pressure. They are listed as near threatened throughout their range. 

WATCH: Tiger Sharks—Swimming With an Awesome Predator
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