Scientific name: Galeocerdo cuvier
The tiger shark is the fourth largest predatory shark .Mature sharks average 3.25 to 4.25 m long and weigh 385 to 909 kg . It also has dorsal fins that are distinctively close to its tail. This shark is a solitary hunter, usually hunting at night. Its name is derived from the dark stripes down its body, which fade as the shark matures.
It is found in many of the tropical and temperate regions of the world's oceans, and is especially common around islands in the central Pacific and often visits shallow reefs, harbours and canals close to coastal communities. The shark's behavior is primarily nomadic, but is guided by warmer currents, and it stays closer to the equator throughout the colder months. The shark tends to stay in deep waters that line reefs but does move into channels to pursue prey in shallower waters.
The tiger shark is a predator, known for eating a wide range of items. Its usual diet consists of fish, seals, birds, smaller sharks, squid, turtles, and dolphins. It has sometimes been found with man-made waste such as license plates or pieces of old tires in its digestive tract and is often referred to as "the wastebasket of the sea". It is responsible for attacks on swimmers, divers and surfers around the world. The tiger shark mates only once every 3 years. They breed by internal fertilization. It is the only species in its family that is ovoviviparous; its eggs hatch internally and the young are born live when fully developed.
The young are nourished inside the mother's body for up to 16 months, where the female can produce a litter ranging from 10 to 80 pups. A newborn tiger shark is generally 51 centimetres to 76 centimetres long and leaves its mother upon birth. It is unknown how long tiger sharks live, but it has been speculated to be 20 years.
The tiger shark belongs to the group of sharks characterized by the presence of a nictitating membrane over the eyes, two dorsal fins, an anal fin, and five gill slits. It is the largest member of the Carcharhinidae family, commonly referred to as requiem sharks. The tiger shark has been recorded down to a depth just shy of 900 metres.