Sharks are vicious predators. There’s no denying this fact – it’s as obvious as the rows of endlessly growing teeth they display in their wide-open mouths. However, just because an animal is dangerous to its prey doesn’t mean it’s dangerous to humans.
The Sand Tiger Shark
Here are a few basic sand tiger shark facts: the name refers to four distinct species which are all close relatives to the great white shark (and none of which are tiger sharks, oddly). Also, they live in the tropical coastal waters of every single continent except Antarctica. The sand tiger shark gets its name from its sandy, brownish coloration and from the fact that it hides among underwater dunes during the day, but in different locations it’s also known as the blue or gray nurse shark and the spotted ragged-tooth shark.
Despite the fearsome appearance they share in common with great white sharks, sand tigers are very docile and don’t attack humans unless they’re provoked, and none of the few sand tiger shark bites have been fatal. In addition, sand tigers do well in captivity, making them one of the most popular aquarium sharks in the world.
One of the other sand tiger shark facts that set them apart is the way they go up to the surface to gulp down air. By holding air in their stomachs, sand tiger sharks gain a measure of buoyancy that lets them swim with less effort, and this lets them sneak up on their prey. This buoyancy and suction power also means that sand tiger sharks are among the few shark species that can breathe without moving.
And Much More
You can find a lot more than just sand tiger shark facts on SharkSider.com. Our site is full of information about dozens of shark species along with facts about sharks in general. We’re aiming to be the number one website for all the shark lovers out there.
For instance, how much do you know about shark skin? It isn’t nearly as smooth as it looks, and it’s far rougher than any bony fish’s scales. Shark skin is covered with millions of placoid scales, also known as dermal denticles, which is a very scientific way of saying “tiny skin teeth.” The phrase may bring up a horrifying mental image, but it’s accurate just the same: the outside of each shark scale is a kind of enamel coating a layer of dentin, the same kind of calcified tissue you can find in your teeth.
The reason sharks have these special scales is all for the sake of speed. Every dermal denticle creates a tiny vortex when it moves through water, and this vortex helps deflect the backwards push of water you experience when you try to swim forward. This reduces drag and allows a shark to move both faster and quieter than other kinds of fish.
These unique features have inspired high-tech swimsuits designed to mimic this effect, but it’s also led people to hunt sharks so they can use their skin as a kind of sandpaper or else as a leather grip. One of the more unfortunate sand tiger shark facts is that their species are especially prized by humans for their hide, their fins, and their liver oil.
Swimming On The Shark Side
SharkSider.com has a mission. While we’re happy to share sand tiger shark facts and shark skin trivia, what we really want to share is our love of sharks and our desire to see them continue to play their part in the marine ecosystems of the world. Thanks to the often illegal overfishing of sharks taking place around the world, hundreds of thousands of sharks are dying for the sake of their skins and liver oil, and millions more are dying because of our bottomless appetite for shark fin soup.
There isn’t much you can do as an individual, but as part of a larger group you may be able to help us reduce the impact humans are having on the world’s shark population. The first step is to grow the group by raising awareness, and fortunately it’s easy for anyone to help with this: all you have to do is spread the word about our site to your friends online and in person so that more people know why sharks are in trouble and why they’re worth saving. Please help us preserve these wonders of nature.