Sand Tiger Shark
The sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus), is one of the species of shark, which has been chased and killed just because of its threatening appearance. This harmless species is just about to get extinct in individual regions of the world and it remains to be seen if the protective measures taken by several countries will prove to be effective.
The physical appearance of a sand tiger shark reflects the general thinking, which people tend to have about sharks. These sharks are large, with permanently visible, long and dagger-formed teeth. These sand tiger sharks are completely harmless. They have extremely small eyes and equally sized dorsal fins, which are considered as another typical feature. Sand tiger sharks are light brown, with a white abdomen, bronze- colored backs and very often red spots on its flanks. Sand tiger sharks can grow up to a size of more than 300 cm in length. Males and females become sexually mature when they reach a length of about 220 cm approximately. Juveniles of these species are born alive and can measure up to 100 cm in length at the time of birth.
Habitat and Behavior
Every year sand tiger sharks take on long migrations. Their habitat ranges to a depth of approximately 200 meters in the ocean and are usually nocturnal. It has been found that, the sand tiger shark is the only shark species, which swims to the water's surface and swallows air in order to regulate its buoyancy. Though these tiger sharks are very strong, they appear lethargic and tend to swim slowly. Sand tiger sharks can be often found in large groups either to mate or go for hunting. The recent observations show that sand tiger sharks display a distinct social behavior. A strange characteristic have been seen in these species that they like to live underneath of the cliff overhangs or similar structures. Here, they remain motionless with the help of swallowed air for longer periods.
Sand tiger sharks are found almost around the world in regions with moderate climates. They are mainly found in the western Atlantic from Maine to the Gulf of Mexico. These sand tiger sharks are also found in southern Brazil to Argentina, the Canary Islands, Bermuda and the Mediterranean.
Sand tiger sharks like to feed on fish such as herring, eels, snapper, mackerel or other marine fish. They sometimes also feed on some smaller shark species. As the reports say, these species also hunt in groups, and thus can catch their prey easily.
The sand tiger shark has a strange method of reproduction. At the time of its embryonal phase, the embryos which are more developed eat up their less developed siblings. As a result, only the two strongest young ones per uterus survive and are born. They measure about one meter in length, at the time of birth. Their size at birth increases their chances of survival, because it reduces the number of their natural enemies.