Tigers are dangerous and sharks are deadly. Combine the two and you have a tiger shark! It must, therefore, be the most dangerous animal known to man? Right? Names can be deceiving, for example, the killer whale is not even a whale but the largest breed of dolphin. Is the Tiger Shark really so deadly then and where did it get such a vicious name?
Where do Tiger Sharks get their name?
Tiger sharks are so-called because of the dark vertical stripes that they have on the side of their body. However, don’t think that this makes them easy to differentiate from other sharks as these stripes will fade as they age. In fact, baby tiger sharks often have spots instead of stripes and are commonly referred to as leopard sharks! Confusing! Aside from the stripes, the most recognizable feature of a tiger shark is its stout body, narrowing slightly at the tail.
Are they really dangerous?
Yes! Tiger sharks are very very dangerous. This is not one of those cases where the name is misleading. Tiger sharks are considered in the top three of terrible sharks to encounter (up there with the great white and the bull shark). Only the great white shark kills more people each year. The tiger shark is particularly dangerous because its teeth are designed to demolish food so it can really mess up humans too. They are also incredibly big and heavy, so you probably won’t win in a fight with one. Unless you are also 10 to 14 feet tall and weighing in at around 1,500 pounds.
Where are they found?
In the water, generally. Terrible jokes aside, tiger sharks can be found in shallow water and are not generally considered a deepwater animal, this is one reason they attack so many people. They inhabit waters around New Zealand, Africa, Peru, and Eastern USA.
The old expression “don´t judge a book by its cover” is a terrible one. How else would you know what book to buy? You should definitely judge a shark by its name and appearance, if it looks big and nasty and has a name to match, it probably is. Steer clear (if you can).