Nat Geo WILD: Know Your Sharks—The Tiger Shark

Tiger sharks are notorious for eating almost anything. Researchers have found all sorts of things in the stomachs of captured tiger sharks―from sea turtle shells to birds to old tires and even license plates. They generally hunt alone at nighttime, scavenging the waters as they swim closer inshore and toward the surface. They’re second only to great whites in recorded human attacks―but, due to their indiscriminate appetite, tiger sharks are less likely to swim away after biting a human. However, attacks are atypical, and someone swimming off the coast of Hawaii is 40 times more likely to drown than be bitten by a tiger shark.

Despite being a top predator in its range, the tiger shark is a near threatened species. They’re routinely hunted for their skin, flesh, fins, and organs. These formidable fish can grow over 20 feet in length and top the scales at almost 2,000 pounds. They’re known to migrate long distances to reach warmer waters in the winter months.

For more facts and photos on the tiger shark, visit our Tiger Shark Profile and the Know Your Sharks Photo Gallery.

Jodi Kendall is a writer living in New York City with her husband and two dogs. She's a regular contributor for several National Geographic Channel websites and curator for Wanderfly.com. You can follow her travel, writing, and outdoor adventures on Twitter @Jodi_Kendall.

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