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Predator Sand Tiger Shark

Predator Sand Tiger Shark (Animals)

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Tags: shark (23 pics), tiger shark (2 pics)

Sand Tiger Sharks

The Sand Tiger shark is yet another species with an undeserved bad reputation. This shark has a ferocious appearance, but is generally considered to be harmless to experienced divers.

The sand tiger has a mouth full of sharp pointed teeth, but these are the kind of teeth typical of a predator that lives on a diet of fish and other small prey. When the sand tiger shark is implicated in attacks against swimmers, it usually occurs in the surf zone where the water is murky and the visibility is reduced to zero. In these kinds of situations the shark typically sees the flash of a hand or a foot and takes a bite thinking it has found a small fish. It releases as soon as it realizes its mistake.

Diet

As opposed to a hand or a foot, what sand tigers really prefer is small fish, small sharks, rays, and crustaceans they find along the sandy bottom and around reefs and shipwrecks. As an adult a sand tiger will typically reach a size of 6 to 9 feet, with some individuals reaching about 10 feet in length.

Reproduction and Sibling RivalrySand Tiger sharks bear 2 live pups at a time, after a gestation period of approximately 10 to 12 months. Inside the mother shark, two separate uterine chambers each contain multiple eggs. Inside of each of these chambers it is a race against time, as the first egg to hatch then devours the other eggs, in a sibling rivalry featuring survival of the fittest!

Diving with Sand Tiger Sharks

Sand tigers can be encountered as isolated individuals and in pairs or small numbers around shipwrecks and reefs all over the world. These encounters are usually unpredictable, chance encounters, as sand tigers have a wide range, often found in sandy coastal waters all over the world, shallow bays, estuaries and especially tropical reefs (Although most often found in shallow waters, sand tiger sharks will swim down to depths of 250 meters.) During their mating seasons in the spring and fall, sand tigers will sometimes congregate in large numbers on shipwrecks and reefs ranging in depth from 50 to 150 feet deep. Since they often return to the same locations year after year for these congregations, it is during these moments that their location and numbers can be fairly predicable, and make for wonderful opportunities for diving with these sharks in large numbers.

Sand tigers in Aquariums

Many of the popular aquariums of the world feature sand tiger sharks in their walk-thru ocean displays. The species is particularly adaptable to aquarium life, and some specimens have been known to live in captivity for more than 10 years. Their adaptability, as well as their ferocious appearance, make them a top attraction in many of the world's largest ocean displays.


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