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Species: Galeocerdo cuvier, Tiger Shark

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

big flat head
snout short, blunt
large eye, spiracle behind
body: stout, dark bars
tail base narrow, + keel



Galeocerdo cuvier (Peron & Lesueur in Lesueur, 1822)

Tiger Shark

Head and body stout but becoming very slender towards rear; snout very short, blunt and slightly rounded (its length 0.7-1.1 of distance between nostrils); long groove over top of mouth to under eye; spiracle present as a narrow slit behind large, round eye; mouth large, wide; teeth have characteristic cockscomb shape (serrated, front edge convex, oblique tip with a deep notch on lower rear side); five gill slits, last two over pectoral; strong ridge on back between dorsal fins; origin of dorsal fin ~over free rear tip of pectoral fin; first dorsal fin not very large (height 7.5-9.3% of TL) tip pointed, rear edge concave, free rear tip long; second dorsal fin with long free rear tip, origin distinctly in front of anal fin origin; a low keel along each side of the narrow tail base; tail fin strongly asymmetric, with sharp pointed tip, large pointed lower lobe.

Adults grey with vertical bars on upper half of sides (sometimes faint or absent); young with large dark spots, some coalescing to form bars.

Size: attains 550 cm.

Habitat: coastal pelagic, often in turbid areas, and estuaries, but also on reefs; retires to deeper water during the day, and feeds on shallow reefs at night.

Depth: 0-1112 m.

Circumtropical; throughout our region.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Water column
  • Estuary
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Sharks/rays
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Sea snakes/mammals/turtles/birds
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Near threatened
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 550
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 1112