The Tiger Shark is famous for its beautiful tiger-like markings, and also its appetite. It eats pretty much everything, including its own kind! One of its favourite foods is the sea turtle, and its sharp, serrated teeth easily crunches through shell. But although it’s a feared predator, it’s no match for humans, and is often killed for its fins. Filmed in Tahiti.
Commonly known as the Sea Tiger, the Tiger Shark is the largest member of the requiem shark family, capable of growing over 5 metres (16 ft) in length. It is the only species in its family that is ovoviviparous, whereby eggs hatch internally over a 16 month gestation, and live young are born. It earns its name from the distinctive dark markings along its body – resembling a tiger’s pattern – which fade as the shark matures. The Tiger Shark is mostly active at night, and is famous for its large and diverse appetite which includes seals, birds, dolphins, turtles, dugongs and sharks, and they’re even known to cannibalise other Tiger Sharks. The shark’s head is wedge-shaped, enabling it to turn its head at speed, and its snout is pitted with electroreceptors which allow the shark to detect even faint electrical impulses of prey. Although the shark is large it is well camouflaged in the water thanks to the countershading of its white belly and dark skin, and it moves relatively slowly to reduce detection. Although considered a potential danger to humans the Tiger Shark has humans to fear, with the species now listed as near-threatened mostly due to excessive game-fishing and shark-finning.