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All About Tiger Sharks

All About Tiger Sharks

Have you always wanted to see a tiger shark? Maybe yes, maybe no. While they are never guaranteed on our tours, we are always stoked when a tiger drops by to say hi. Tiger sharks tend to stay in deep waters that line the reefs of Hawaii but have been seen in fairly shallow water. Tiger sharks have been found also in other Pacific regions in addition to Hawaii, as far north as Japan and as far south as New Zealand.

Identifying a Tiger Shark 

How does one identify a tiger shark? Tiger sharks have broadly rounded snouts and generally have long fins and a long upper tail which is easily distinguishable from other sharks. A tiger shark normally swims using little movements of its body, an almost sluggish swimming motion. Don’t let this fool you, tiger sharks with their long tail fin can produce fast bursts of speed. Tiger sharks are also very flexible due to their high dorsal fin. Its high back and dorsal fin allow it to spin quickly on its axis. Juveniles have visible spotting patterns that fade into light grey stripes as they mature which is where they get their names from. Lengths of 19.6 feet have been documented, but overall, it’s rare to encounter a tiger shark over 15 feet in length.

Patterns and Habits

Studies show a broad distribution in habitat, and tracking studies have shown that tiger sharks can swim 30 miles in 24 hours.  The tiger shark does have a reputation for eating anything it has access to. Not caring what nutritional value the prey may or may not have. This is what makes tiger sharks so feared. Their appetite is voracious. Tiger sharks commonly eat fish, squid, birds, seals, surfers, skinny dippers, other sharks, and sea turtles as pictured below. Like we mentioned before with their excellent eye sight and its acute sense of smell the tiger sharks is fundamentally the apex predator in the the ocean. Another weapon this shark carries around is the ability to detect low-frequency pressure waves produced by the movements of swimming animals.  Like they say, don’t thrash around if you are stuck out at sea, the tiger sharks is very curious about this type of frequency.

Ready to come out and potentially see a tiger shark? Book your shark dive today! 

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