What Are The Feeding Habits Of The Sand Tiger Shark? Sand Tiger Sharks, commonly called Gray Nurse Sharks or Tooth Shark, have a terrifying and dominating look. They are large-bodied and have protruding sharp teeth even when their mouth is closed. Apart from these basic features, they are aggressive and known to attack humans when bothered first. It inhabits the continental shelf, from the waters of Japan, the Mediterranean, and the eastern part of North and South America. To clarify, sand tiger sharks are not related to tiger sharks.
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In 2007, these sharks were considered endangered in the South West Atlantic, so there were some certain aquatic and fisheries laws both in North and South America that when sandfish sharks are caught, they have to be released.
Even though they were generalized to be aggressive, yet there is no confirmed report of human fatalities caused by sand tiger sharks. This species has a bulky and muscular body and a strong swimming ability. Unlike any other sharks, sand tiger sharks are gasping for air from the surface and allowed to be suspended in water columns. This shark species are generally brownish-gray and white-bellied. Individual sharks can range from 6.5 to 10.5 feet in length.
The Feeding Habits
The diet scheme of the sand tiger sharks is connected to their size, sex, spawning season, and maturity stage. Sand tiger sharks are dominantly carnivorous and they feed on teleosts, which consists of ray-finned fishes, elasmobranchs, or skates and sawfish, and benthic elasmobranchs, or angel sharks. Sand tiger sharks can eat their prey in just one swallow, and their favorite part is the internal organs, causing them to gain more proteins and perforation of the esophagus and stomach.
Behavior And Habitat
Their name is a real representation of them being comfortable near the seabed and they also tend to stay towards the shoreline. They have the habit to store air in their stomachs when seeking their prey. They feed mostly at night and they are vicious and deceiving when attacking prey.
Not only they eat small fish, but also crustaceans and squids. They are known to attack prey collectively, and it’s also difficult to catch them because they would help each other to destroy the full fishing nets.
Courtship And Mating
Their mating period usually happens in the months from March to April in the northern hemisphere and from August to October in the southern hemisphere. During the pre-mating period, the female tiger shark would hover herself above the sand to indicate that they’re receptive enough to mate.
Once a dominant male would pursue the female, they would intimidate others and snap the other sharks away. Then, the male and female would interact at the sandy bottom, the male would create superficial bites in the anal and pectoral part of the female.
Sand tiger sharks may be vicious underwater, but they are not considered as a threat to humans, contrary to what we’ve seen in movies. Their mouths are not large enough to endanger human life. If there are provocations, then it must be associated with spearfishing and shark feeding.