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NEFSC Apex Predators Program

tiger shark Tiger shark

TIGER SHARK

Galeocerdo cuvier

SIZE

To about 18 ft (5.5 m).

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

  • Dorsal surfaces of juveniles covered with dark blotches on bluish- or greenish-gray to black background; blotches fuse to form tigerlike vertical bars or stripes as shark grows; coloration fades to gray and stripes become less distinct in adults
  • Snout blunt and wide, much shorter than width of mouth; long labial furrows around corners of mouth reaching eyes
  • Teeth serrated with deep notch on outer margins, similar in both jaws
  • Interdorsal ridge low

DISTRIBUTION

Cape Cod, MA, to Uruguay, including Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.

HABITAT

Coastal waters close inshore to outer continental shelf; offshore including oceanic island groups.

SIMILAR SPECIES

Characteristic teeth and markings of tiger shark distinguish this species from other Atlantic sharks.

MORE INFORMATION


Guide to Sharks, Tunas, & Billfishes of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

Text descriptions taken from:
Guide to Sharks, Tunas, & Billfishes
of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico

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(File Modified Aug. 08 2017)