Animal Species:Tiger Shark, Galeocerdo cuvier (Péron & Lesueur, 1822)
The Tiger Shark is a large potentially dangerous species that is usually found in coastal, tropical marine waters.
Standard Common Name
The Tiger Shark can be recognised by its blunt head, serrated cocks-comb-shaped teeth and its colouration. Small juveniles are grey with dark reticulations, which change to vertical bars in fish up to 3 m in length. The bars may be faint or lacking in individuals longer than 3 m.
The Tiger Shark grows to at least 6 m in length.
The Tiger Shark occurs worldwide in tropical and some subtropical waters.
In Australia the Tiger Shark is known from south-western Western Australia around the tropical north and south to the southern coast of New South Wales coast.
Distribution by collection data
Although sometimes seen well offshore, it is not an oceanic species.
Feeding and Diet
It is a scavenger that will eat a wide range of prey and even indigestible objects. Turtles and fishes are common prey items and perhaps surprisingly also oceanic pufferfishes (Bonnie Holmes, pers comm. 2011)
Danger to humans and first aid
Its large size, scavenging nature and shallow-water feeding result in it being dangerous to people.
- Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
- Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
- Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
- Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens. 1994 Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO. Pp. 513.
- Paxton, J.R. 2003. Shark nets in the spotlight. Nature Australia. Spring. 27 (10): 84.
- Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.
- Springer, V.G. & J.P. Gold. 1989. Sharks in Question: The Smithsonian Answer Book. Smithsonian Institution. Pp. 187.
Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow
Tags fishes, ichthyology, Tiger Shark, Galeocerdo cuveri, Carcharhinidae, dangerous, scavenger, tropical water, coastal water, blunt head, serrated teeth, cockcombs, grey, dark reticulations, vertical bars, > 5m, adult, marine, subtropical water,