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Did you know? > Tiger sharks

The tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier, is one of the requiem sharks, known as formidable predators with very powerful jaws and teeth as sharp as blades. It is the second largest predatory shark after the great white, with a length of over 5 m and a weight of around 900 kg.

Tiger sharks are found throughout the world in warm-water marine environments, particularly in the central Pacific islands, North America, the Bahamas, Fiji, Mexico, South Africa and also in the Maldives. On Fuvahmulah, an isolated island in the southern Madives, with a very specific current pattern around the atoll that creates the perfect environment for tiger sharks and many other pelagic fish, we have an estimated population of 500 tiger sharks, living peacefully.

Its dark stripes fade as the shark matures
It is only the young specimens that show the characteristic dark stripes and spots, perhaps to better camouflage themselves in the shadows of the waves. With maturity, the stripes fade and the skin takes on a dark blue-green or grey colour above and a light belly.

Its body is boneless
Like all sharks, its skeleton consists of cartilage.

It hunts by detecting the electrical fields of prey animals.
The tiger shark has small pits on its snout that contain a network of sensory organs called Lorenzini’s ampullae. These organs detect electric fields, even the weakest.

It really eats everything!
It feeds on marine animals such as manta rays, squid, turtles, crabs, rays, dolphins, seals, seabirds and even other sharks.
It is also known to feed on land animals, such as dogs, cats and rats, horses, goats, sheep, birds.
It also feeds on inedible man-made objects left in the ocean that are not digested in its stomach.

Its jaws have a unique shape and teeth
All sharks have a rounded jaw, whereas the tiger shark has a square one.
It has very sharp, saw-like denticles on all its teeth, allowing it to slice its prey, even cutting through the hard shells of turtles. In the course of its life new teeth replace worn-out ones. Its razor-sharp teeth are virtually identical in both the upper and lower jaws, unlike most predatory sharks that have fewer sharp teeth in the lower jaw. Its teeth can shear through flesh and bone.

When belly-up it can go into a trance-like state
If it is turned on its stomach it becomes temporarily immobile and enters a kind of hypnosis in less than a minute and can remain there for up to 15 minutes, allowing scientists to implant a tracking device in its body and collect information.

Sacred in Hawaiian mythology
Popular in the Pacific Ocean, in traditional Hawaiian culture the tiger shark is considered a sacred spirit, believed to be the reincarnation of a deceased family member.

It is the only ovoviviparous shark species, which gives birth to live young after hatching fertile eggs inside its body.
A pregnant female tiger shark lays between 10 and 80 fertilised eggs inside her body; each egg contains an embryo that feeds on its own yolk and hatches inside the mother's body after a total gestation period of 13 to 16 months, giving birth to fully developed, live young.

At risk of extinction
Man is drastically reducing the population of tiger sharks by killing them for its skin to produce real leather, for its fins, edible meat and vitamin A-rich liver oil, which is used to make supplements.

Dive with tiger sharks*
*we can not guarantee the sighting, because this is nature. At the times of year mentioned above, the probability is the highest. 

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