Galeocerdo cuvier (Tiger shark)
(Peron & Lesueur, in Lesueur, 1822)
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Galeocerdo cuvier (Tiger shark) [Illustration
by Ann Hecht ©]
A huge striped shark with a broad, bluntly
rounded snout, long upper labial furrows, a big mouth with large,
saw-edged, cockscomb-shaped teeth, spiracles, and low caudal keels.
Colour grey above with vertical black to dark grey bars and spots,
bold in young but fading in adults; white below.
To 5.5 m and
possibly 7.4 m TL.
East coast, Cape St. Francis to
Coastal and well offshore, surfline to 140 m depth.
Common off Natal, a summer visitor
to the eastern Cape. Bears 10 to 82 young. The most opportunistic
feeder amongst sharks, eats other sharks, rays, bony fish, birds, pinnipeds, small cetaceans, turtles, sea snakes, lobsters, crabs,
cuttlefish, and mammalian carrion, and swallows a wide variety of
Potentially dangerous; a few attacks
on people off Natal are attributable to this species. Caught by
sports anglers and the Natal shark nets.
Text by Leonard J.V. Compagno, David A. Ebert
and Malcolm J. Smale