There’s a reason I have my name–I’m just as fierce a predator as my orange-and-black namesake on land! Plus, I have dark, vertical stripes as a juvenile (which are harder to spot as I get older). I have a bluish-grey to dark grey color on top and a white belly, which helps me blend into the surrounding waters from above and below. I can only blend in so much, though–we average around 14 feet long, but can reach over 20 feet!
You may have heard that tiger sharks are known for being aggressive. And although it’s true that tigers are second to great whites in number of shark attacks on humans, people are a MUCH bigger threat to me than I am to them. Heavy harvesting for fins, skin and livers have left us classified as “near threatened”. To top it off, we have slow reproduction rates, so have a hard time bouncing back to healthy populations.
Did You Know?
When I say I’ll eat almost anything, I’m not kidding–tiger sharks have been found with license plates, tires and even other sharks in their stomachs.
Not to brag, but I am an excellent hunter. I’m not picky when it comes to food–my powerful jaws and sharp teeth allow me to consume a wide variety of prey, including stingrays, seals, turtles, clams and more. That means that unlike other sharks that are more particular about their prey, I have practically an endless food supply (that’s what happens when you will eat anything and everything). I’m naturally very curious, which helps in discovering new food sources, but is unfortunately responsible for some of the attacks against humans (although these are very rare, I promise. I’d much prefer my ocean prey, thank you very much).