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  Tiger shark, leopard shark, maneater shark, and spotted shark are English language common names that refer to this shark.First described by Peron and Lessueur in Lessueur (1822), the tiger shark was given the name Squalus cuvier. Later, Muller and Henle (1837) designated Squalus arcticus (Faber, 1829) as the type species and suggested the name Galeocerdo tigrinus. Various synonyms have been used since including: Galeus cepedianus Agassiz 1838, Galeus maculatus Ranzani 1840, Carcharias fasciatus Bleeker 1852, Galeocerdo rayneri McDonald & Barron 1868, Galeocerdo obtusus Klunzinger 1871, and Carcharias hemprichii Klunzinger 1871. The genus name Galeocerdo is derived from the Greek, galeos = "shark" and the Latin, "cerdus" = the hard hairs of pigs.

Probably the most easy to recognize of the requiem sharks, the tiger gets its name from dark black spots and vertical bars which run the length of the body. The anterior portion of the body is stout but becomes increasingly slender posterior to the abdomen. The tiger shark has a robust head with large eyes and a very blunt snout. The mouth itself is large with long labial furrows. The broad first dorsal fin originates posterior to the pectoral axil. The much smaller second dorsal fin initiates anterior to the origin of the strongly recurved anal fin. A ridge is present along the back between the dorsal fins. A low longitudinal keel is present on the caudal peduncle and the upper lobe of the caudal fin is long and thin with a sub terminal notch
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  The tiger shark is found throughout the world's temperate and tropical waters, with the exception of the Mediterranean Sea. It is a wide-ranging species that is at home both in the open ocean as well as shallow coastal waters. Reports of individuals from as far north as Iceland and the United Kingdom have been confirmed but are probably a result of roaming sharks following the warmer Gulf Stream north across the Atlantic. Undoubtedly the least discriminative all species, the tiger shark has a reputation as an animal that will eat almost anything. Preferred prey varies depending upon geographical region but commonly includes sea turtles, rays, other sharks, bony fishes, sea birds, dolphins, squid, various crustaceans and carrion. The tiger shark's highly serrated teeth combined with the saw-like action from shaking the head back and forth allows it to tear chunks from much larger marine animals. Interestingly, it is not uncommon to find objects of human origin in this animal's stomach.
The tiger shark is second only to the white shark in number of reported attacks on humans. Its large size and voraciousness make it a formidable predator in the ocean. Tiger sharks can be curious and aggressive towards humans in the water and must be considered with a great deal of respect.
  One of the largest sharks, the tiger shark commonly reaches a length of 325-425 cm (10-14 ft) and weighs over 385-635 kg (850-1400 lbs). Length at birth varies from 51-76 cm (1-1.5 ft). Males reach sexual maturity at 226-290 cm (7-9 ft), while females become mature at 250-325 cm (8-10 ft). The largest specimens are believed to attain a length of over 5.5 m (17 ft) and weigh over 900 kg (2000 lbs).
 





 

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