19 Oct 2016

What do Tiger Sharks Eat?

a tiger shark's diet

Diet of A Tiger Shark

Tiger sharks are counted among the bigger fishes. They need a considerable amount of food to survive. These sharks can grow up to 18 ft, but the average body length is limited to 12-14 ft. Still, it is a big size especially if we count the average body weight of 100 lb.

The shark requires a lot of prey to survive in the ocean. Tiger sharks are known as voracious eaters. They can eat everything. I mean, they can eat literally everything from a fish to a discarded car number plate. Yes, they can also eat humans.

Tiger sharks spend the day time in the deep waters of the ocean. When sun sets, these sharks come close to the shore in search of food. They are slow swimmers and seem sluggish and not that dangerous in the ocean. But don’t underestimate them; they are capable of sudden burst of speed during an attack.

Tiger sharks use stealth mode for hunting. They move slowly towards their prey. The lack of speed will not create panic among the pray. The shark will attack suddenly after coming close.

The juveniles of the species feed on small fishes and crustaceans.  They like to eat small squids, octopuses and even jellyfishes. Many types of shrimps, lobsters and crabs are their regular food items. The baby tiger fishes also often eat different types of sea snails and slugs.

As the sharks grow, they tend to attack larger animals. When they become adult their prey lists expands. Now they do not seem to be happy with only fishes and crustaceans, they also like to taste the meat of marine mammals like dolphins, dugongs, sea lions and seals.

tiger shark diet facts

We know that marine mammals are quiet intelligent. So, if the dolphins discover that a tiger shark is larking around, they will soon leave that area of the sea. The dugongs are also often do so. Large whales are also not completely safe from them. If a big whale becomes ill and weak, it may become a target of tiger sharks. The juvenile whales are also often attacked by the tiger shark groups.

Tiger sharks are also carrion eaters. They eat dead Sea animals. The dead whales are their one of the most favorite food items. It is often observed that a floating carcass of whale is being devoured by a group of these sharks.

The tiger sharks are one of the finest hunters of the sea. They have very good eyes. Their sense of smell is superb. They can detect a drop of blood from far away in the ocean. Drop of blood in the water attracts them. They can also sense little vibrations in the water created by the movements of sea animals. They can catch a prey even in the murky water or in complete darkness.

The jaws of the shark are wide. They can eat much larger prey. The jaws are armed with strong teeth. If a tooth is broken during an attack, new replacement tooth appears within a few days. They are known to it’s the prey whole.

Terrestrial animals that come into the sea water can become a tiger shark’s food item. It is observed in the Hawaii that these sharks often eat horses, dogs, deer, goats etc. Wild animals that fall in the sea for any reason can also become a target.

Do Tiger Sharks Eat Humans?

Tiger sharks are considered one of the most dangerous sea animals. They are known to attack humans. These sharks often come close to the shore. They can also enter into the river mouths or shallow lagoons. As a result, they often come in contact with humans. But despite of that, the percentage of attack is not very high. It is a voracious eater and so it is not impossible for a big tiger shark to attack and eat a human being. So, it is better to avoid them in the sea.

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