Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Carcharias taurus, Sand Tiger, Sand Tiger Shark

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout short, flattened, pointed
eye v small
D fins ~ same size
D1 origin well behind pectoral
teeth: long curved, 1 small point each side
3 rows large central teeth

Carcharias taurus Rafinesque, 1810

Sand Tiger, Sand Tiger Shark

A stout shark; snout very short, flattened; eyes small, without nictitating eyelids, below prominent head ridges; mouth long and angular, extending behind eye; teeth long, slender, smooth, with very small point on each side of long, slender central point, at least in front teeth; 3 rows of large central teeth; five large gill slits, none over pectoral fin; two similar-sized dorsal fins, base of first dorsal just in front of pelvic fin and well behind pectoral fin, second dorsal about same size as 1st dorsal and anal fins; tail fin short, lower lobe short, large terminal notch on upper lobe; no keels on tail base; large pit on upper tail base.

Light grey-brown above, white below, body with round or oval, yellow or yellow-brown spots.

Size: 318 cm; to 40 years.

Near the bottom around reefs and on soft bottoms

Depth: 0-191 m, usually 15-25 m.

In all warm seas except the E Pacific; the E US to the Gulf of Mexico; also S Brazil to Argentina.

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Near Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Water column
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Sharks/rays
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
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
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Vulnerable
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 318
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 191