Whether you've loved sharks since childhood or were scarred by the movie “Jaws,” we can all agree that sharks are some of the most fascinating creatures in the ocean. People worldwide are obsessed with sharks, from wearing shark teeth jewelry to trying to capture the beasts’ impressive size and habits on film.
If you ask an ocean lover, chances are that they could tell you their favorite species of shark. Great whites, bull sharks, and mako sharks are all popular choices. But, if you are new to learning about the largest predators in the sea, you have to get to know the enormous, striped, and down-right vicious tiger sharks.
How to Spot a Tiger Shark
The easiest way to determine if a shark is a tiger shark is the distinct gray vertical stripes that cover its sides. Tiger shark snouts are blunt, almost flattened, and much shorter than the width of their mouths. With large eyes and serrated shark teeth, you will be able to recognize a tiger shark when it's staring you in the face!
7 Fun Facts About Tiger Sharks
Start with these 7 jaw-dropping tiger shark facts about their:
- Endangered status
- Special senses
1. What Do Tiger Sharks Eat?
Short answer—everything. Tiger sharks are notorious for being extreme predators and have been recorded eating fish, seabirds, shellfish, seals, turtles, dolphins, crustaceans, and even other sharks. They use quick bursts of speed to attack their prey, hunting anything in their path. If they’re hungry, they’ll eat whatever they can get their jaws on.
2. What's Unique About Tiger Shark Birth?
Out of the entire shark family, the tiger shark is the only ovoviviparous species. Tiger shark embryos develop inside eggs until they are hatched internally within the mother shark. While other oceanic creatures have to protect their eggs from predators, tiger sharks do not. After hatching, the babies stay within the womb so that when they're birthed, they are fully formed and ready to go.
Bonus fact: Mother tiger sharks tend to get pregnant once every three years with a long gestation period of a little over a year. But moms aren't giving birth to one or two babies—one litter can range from 10 to 80 shark pups!
3. How Big is a Tiger Shark?
Tiger sharks are, to put it nicely, enormous. They are the fourth-largest shark in the ocean, reaching up to 14 feet long and weighing around 850 to 1,400 pounds. The females are often larger than the males. If you were to come across one, you'd be shocked by just how massive a tiger shark is.
4. What Kind of Water Do Tiger Sharks Prefer?
If you're on an adventure to find the beautiful and threatening tiger shark, stick to tropical salt water. Unlike other sharks, tiger sharks can't enter freshwater. If you're standing ashore, be careful. Generally, a tiger shark hangs out in coastal, shallow waters—though they've been seen in deeper waters up to 140 meters.
Tiger sharks love to linger where potential prey congregates, such as freshwater runoff. They can approach a coast in waters as shallow as 10 feet, so watch out the next time you're wading in the ocean.
5. Tiger Sharks Are a Near-Threatened Species
Due to their low reproduction rate and overfishing, the population of tiger sharks has been steadily decreasing. While they're not at the endangered level yet, the "near-threatened" qualification means that tiger sharks are highly likely to become endangered soon. Science programs around the globe are doing what they can to protect this mysterious shark.
6. Tiger Sharks Have Special Senses
Tiger sharks are some of the best predators in the ocean, thanks to their extra-special senses. Sharks are known for their fantastic eyesight, and tiger sharks have evolved to have a third eyelid that protects their eyes as they attack their prey. Tiger sharks can also sense vibrations in the water, leading them directly to their next meal.
7. Tiger Sharks and Camouflaging
Tiger sharks, lovingly nicknamed "night ninjas," can camouflage themselves to their surroundings while hunting. Thanks to their unique coloring, they can easily blend in with the different layers of the ocean. Their lighter underbelly blends in with the natural light and shallow water if they swim above their prey. If you try to spot them from above, their darker upper body blends in with deep water, distorting their shape. Prey won't know they're there until they go in for the kill.
Why Are Tiger Shark Teeth Great for Jewelry?
Tiger shark teeth are some of the most exotic and beautiful kinds to use in jewelry. Most sharks have different types and sizes of teeth, but the tiger shark naturally has 48 identical teeth. Identifying shark teeth is part of the fun – tiger shark teeth are distinctively slanted, short, strong, and serrated. Unlike humans, tiger sharks shed and replenish their teeth throughout their life—leaving beautiful pendants behind for jewelry!
Why Do People Wear Shark Teeth?
Shark teeth jewelry has been around for centuries. Warriors, sailors, surfers, and more believe that wearing shark teeth grants safety and strength at sea. Shark teeth jewelry is also said to prevent sharks from attacking you and to protect you from drowning. Whether you're just visiting or a local, donning your favorite shark teeth jewelry is a sacred form of protection.
Our Best-Selling Shark Tooth Jewelry:
- Coconut Bead Necklace with Fossil Shark Tooth
- Mako Shark Tooth Pendant
- Shark Tooth and Skulls Necklace
Our oceans are full of fascinating creatures—but none are as vicious and magnificent as the tiger shark. With special senses, camouflage skin, and the ability to eat almost anything, there are endless fun facts to learn about tiger sharks. Wear their shark teeth as protection on your next tropical vacation, and keep your eyes peeled for the terrifying, captivating tiger shark!