The Tiger Shark is one of the worst offenders for attacking and killing humans. Unlike most other sharks, the Tiger Shark does not swim away after a single bite.
Tiger Shark Distribution and Habitat
The Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) is a tropical fish being found mostly between the Tropic of cancer and the Tropic of capricorn. The tropics range from 23.5° on both side of the equator. The Tiger Shark can also be found as far as 30° as the extent warm tropical water does not end at a man-made line.
The Tiger Shark is found in the coastal waters of every island and continent within 30° from the equator. They are not found in the deep ocean, preferring costal waters. They exception is the ocean waters off the coast of Australia.
The Tiger Shark can be found as deep as 3000 feet/914 meters but most of the time they are found around 1000 feet/350 meter off the continental shelf.
This does not mean casual swimmers are safe swimming in their habitat. They are found as shallow as 10 to 40 feet and are quick to zone in on prey whatever depth they are located at. Tiger Sharks’ sense of smell and sight is excellent making it a top predator.
Tiger Shark Features and Size
The tiger Shark can grow to 15 feet long at the largest but they are most often found at 10 feet long.
The largest Tiger Shark can reach 1,400 pounds/635 kilograms but most adults are around the 800 pound/363 kilograms range. Tiger Sharks are green to blue on the side to the top of the fish. The underside of the tiger shark is white or light yellow.
Most mature Tiger Sharks no longer have distinct visible lines on their sides. The lines are very distinct on juvenile tiger sharks that fade as they get older.
The Tiger Shark has a wedge-shaped head much like other fast moving sharks. Tiger Sharks have a very good sense of smell and sight. They have an Ampullae of Lorenzini, which is far more sensitive than the lateral line fond in most fish.
The ampullae of Lorenzini is so sensitive that it can detect blood and other fish scents down to several parts per billion. The ampullae of Lorenzini start with small pits on the face of the Tiger Shark filled with electro-receptors. As a result, the Tiger Shark can detect prey from miles away at night and in murky water.
Man Eater Danger Scale
The Tiger Shark is one of the worst offenders for attacking and killing humans. Unlike most other sharks, the Tiger Shark does not swim away after a single bite. Most sharks that bit humans do so as a taste test. For some reason, they do not like the taste of humans and swim away afterwards.
The Tiger Shark will finish off the attack and kill a human. The Tiger Shark scores a 9 on the Man Eater Danger Scale. Be very careful if you are in the water with these fish.