Q:

How does a tiger shark protect itself?

A:

Quick Answer

Defense for tiger sharks centers mostly on their anatomy and their behavior. Tiger sharks get very large, up to 16 feet in length and 1,400 pounds. They also have very powerful jaws, with the sharp teeth typical of sharks.

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In addition to being big, tiger sharks are also strong. They are capable of hunting and killing large marine animals such as dolphins, leatherback and green sea turtles, sea lions and even other sharks. Though shark attacks on humans are rare, many of them are committed by tiger sharks. The combination of size and strength help tiger sharks protect themselves.

Furthermore, tiger sharks use camouflage as a form of protection. Their color ranges from light green to blue with a light-colored underbelly. This means when the shark is seen from above, it blends in with the dark water. When seen from below, it blends in with the light from the surface.

Tiger sharks also exhibit behaviors that help their self-protection. They are nocturnal, so they are active when many other species are not. They retreat to lower depths in the daytime. Likewise, because of its high back and dorsal fins, a tiger shark can pivot quickly on its axis. Because of that, when confronted with danger, a tiger shark beats a hasty retreat. Before that, tiger sharks often indicate that they feel threatened by lowering their pectoral fins. This warns other animals to back off.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the characteristics of a tiger shark vs. a great white?

    A:

    Great white sharks grow up to 21 feet long, have a lifespan of approximately 70 years and live in all the world's oceans. In contrast, tiger sharks grow to about 16 feet, have a lifespan of approximately 50 years and are only found in temperate climates, especially around islands in the Pacific. Though somewhat visually similar, the tiger shark also has characteristic tiger-stripe markings, though these are often faded in mature adults.

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  • Q:

    What are some fun tiger shark facts for kids?

    A:

    Tiger sharks live in warm water, can grow to be more than 16 feet long and eat a wide range of food. For instance, tiger sharks aren't picky about their meals, eating birds and sea turtles or dolphins.

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  • Q:

    What does the great white shark eat?

    A:

    Great white sharks eat mainly seals and sea lions. They also eat other types of fish and even sea turtles. Seals are a good source for great white sharks due to their large body fat ratios.

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  • Q:

    What is a male shark called?

    A:

    Male sharks are referred to as bulls or simply as males. Female sharks are only referred to as females, and the offspring of sharks are called pups.

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