shark attack underwater in the deep blue sea

When people think of sharks and shark attacks, the image of sand tiger sharks will often appear in their heads. Who could blame them? These sharks are relatively large in size, and have a mouthful of protruding spike-like teeth similar to that of a great white!

However, this is a deceptive look, as sand tiger sharks are docile and are a relatively non-aggressive species unless provoked by humans. Let’s explore some more interesting information and facts regarding this shark species. By becoming more informed on this species, we will have a better understanding on how to handle them if we encounter them in the ocean.

Physical Characteristics

The adult sand tiger shark has a brownish-gray color on top, while having a white underbelly. They have a flattened, cone-shaped snout and a highly recognizable oblong tail with a notched upper lobe that is significantly longer than the lobe below. Sand tiger sharks average from 6.5 to 10.5 feet in length, and weigh around 200-350 pounds. These measurements equate to roughly the size of a 6 foot man!

Preferred Climate And Habitat

Sand tiger sharks get their name for their tendency to dwell along the shoreline. They are often seen cruising along the ocean floor within the surf zone, and are usually very close to shore. They are found near the surface of the water, in mid-water, or even at depths of about 625 feet! While these sharks will eat just about anything they want (since sharks are on top of the food chain), they are not known to attack humans. Therefore, if you come across one while surfing or swimming, it’s best to try and stay calm and slowly move away from where they are present. These sharks are disbursed throughout most warms seas excluding areas in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Air Gulpers

Sand tiger sharks are the only shark that is known to come to the surface in order to gulp air. They use the air in order to inflate their stomachs, allowing them to float motionless in the water as they seek out their prey. In order to adjust their buoyancy, these sharks will then burp out the swallowed air in order to return to a normal state. They are known to be insatiable predators, feeding at night and generally staying close to the bottom of the ocean. Their main prey are usually small fish, but they are known to eat crustaceans and squid as well.

Threatened Population

Although sand tiger sharks are not widely sought out as food for humans, over-fishing and their rate of reproduction have caused this shark to be listed as a threatened species. Over-fishing is a problem that affects all types of fish, since these large fishing nets will capture anything that is within its grasp. This is unfortunate, since these fish are then wasted and never utilized properly after they’ve been brought to land. In regards to their reproduction rate, sand tiger sharks give birth to one or two pups once every two years. This slow turn out rate is another reason why their species is labeled vulnerable by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources).

Find Out More About Sand Tiger Sharks And Other Shark Species

As we can see, sand tiger sharks are yet another shark species that is threatened by extinction. While these sharks appear menacing, they are actually quite docile and don’t attack humans unless provoked by something. We need to make sure that these sharks stay around, or else the aquatic food chain may be in jeopardy.

If you want to learn more about sand tiger sharks, as well as other shark species, please visit our website today. We have extensive information regarding every species of shark, as well as other informative articles about shark habitat and preservation.