Large, greedy and dangerous
This huge shark frequents tropical and sub-tropical waters across the world and is one of the most dangerous fish in the seas.
How big can it get?
The world record for a tiger shark is 810 kilograms (1,785 pounds 11 ounces), caught off the Australian coast in 2004. This makes it nearly one ton of angry apex predator.
What does it eat?
Anything! There’s a reason this shark is referred to as “the dustbin of the sea”. It devours anything from stingrays to seabirds, from sea snakes to turtles, whilst an injured whale makes for an enjoyable delicacy. Unfortunately for its digestive system though, it has also been known to swallow the likes of shoes, coal, overcoats, a pair of deer antlers, and even a suit of armour.
How does it hunt?
With excellent eyesight and a keen sense of smell, it is able to hunt down just about anything within the same waters. Its serrated teeth make short work of turtle shells whilst scavenging and pack hunting are common.
How dangerous is it?
The great white may rack up more attacks on humans but tiger sharks are more dangerous and a lot less likely to leave leftovers. In 1945, the U.S.S. Indianapolis was sunk by a Japanese submarine and 900 sailors found themselves in the Pacific Ocean. Before long a number of tiger sharks began picking them off one by one. By the time the crew was rescued, as many as 30 people had been killed in one of the deadliest animal attacks in history.
How many are left?
Unfortunately, like many sharks, the combination of low repopulation rates and heavy fishing – it has been deeply harvested for its fins, meat and oil – has led to it being designated a near threatened species.
As an infant it is the most distinctive of shark species thanks to the tiger-like stripes that appear on juveniles. These dark black, grey and brown vertical stripes fade as the shark ages before almost disappearing in adulthood.