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Sand tiger sharks

Scientific name: Carcharias taurus
Sand tiger sharksSand tiger sharks are fierce-looking sharks thanks to their rows of ragged, fang-like teeth. They are generally placid during daylight hours but become voracious hunters at nightfall.

Sand tigers are fairly large, stocky sharks with blunt snouts and large, unserrated teeth. Their skin ranges from a sandy-brown to grey-brown colour and they have dark spots, which fade as they mature.

Sandtiger sharks live at all water levels as well as the surf zone and reefs. They are found mostly near coastlines, from the surface down to depths of 3,900 ft (1,200 m). Sand tigers inhabit the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean and are sometimes encountered in the Mediterranean.

Sand tigers are sometimes found in groups and have been known to herd prey. They feed on bony fish, rays, other sharks, crustaceans, squid and octopus. Sand tigers sharks are slow but strong swimmers, and are active at night. They gulp air at the water surface, which they hold in their stomach to achieve buoyancy.

The sand tiger sharks are born through a rather strange way. They are Oviphagous. During Sand tiger sharksreproduction, several embryos develop in the mother at different rates and females have two uterine chambers. Developing embryos are cannibalistic and the strongest/biggest one eats its siblings while inside the womb in order to survive. So inspite of reproduction of many embryos, a Sandtiger shark gives birth to only two pups at a time through separate chambers after a gestation period of 8-9 months. Pups are roughly 3.3 feet (1 m) long at birth

Due to their slow reproduction and rapid hunting, these sharks are considered to be endangered and are protected in many countries.

Statistics: Males average 2.4m, females average 2.6m. The largest recorded was 3.2m

Sandtiger Shark Classification:
  • Kingdom Animalia (animals)
  • Phylum Chordata
  • SubPhylum Vertebrata (vertebrates)
  • Class Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish)
  • Subclass Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays)
  • Order Lamniformes (makerel sharks)
  • Family Odontaspididae
  • Genus carcharius
  • Species Taurus


Shark Info Sheet
Basking shark
Blue shark
Bronze whaler shark
Bull sharks
Dogfish shark
Dusky shark
Great hammerhead
Great White shark
Grey Reef Shark
Horn shark
Leopard shark
Oceanic whitetip
Salmon shark
Sand tiger sharks
Scalloped hammerhea-
Shortfin mako
Sixgill shark
Sleeper shark
Tiger shark
Whale shark
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