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Tiger Sharks Essay

1642 words - 7 pages

Can you imagine swimming in the ocean with a 15 ft. long tiger shark? More than likely you have if you've ever been in the ocean. Tiger sharks live on coastlines all over the world including virtually every coastline in the United States. Tiger sharks are one of the largest sharks in the world. Tiger sharks are on an average of being 13-21 feet in length and weighing between 850 and 1400 pounds. The biggest one on record was an astonishing 26ft. in length. It is called the tiger shark because of its distinctive tiger like markings on its side. Tiger shark pups have spotted markings that develop together to shape stripes that lighten with maturity.The tiger shark is a dangerous predator, known for eating a remarkably wide variety of things. Its usual diet consists of fish, seals, smaller sharks, squid and even turtles but it has sometimes been found with detritus such as license plates or pieces of old tires in its digestive tract. It has gained notoriety recently by attacks on divers and surfers in Hawaii. The tiger shark is second only to the Great White in number of human fatalities and is considered, along with the Great White, Bull Shark and the Oceanic Whitetip Shark one of the most dangerous to humans. (Wikipedia, 2006.pg. 1) The tiger shark rarely hunts in the daytime, and has a reputation for eating anything that is in its way, disregarding nutritional value the prey may hold. Besides from the random feeding, the Tiger Shark's most common foods include; common fish, squid, seals, other sharks and, depending on the size of the shark, sea turtles. In a newspaper article from Australia, a beached tiger shark was found with another shark in its mouth. "But tiger sharks, the garbage guts of the ocean, have been found with handbags, rolls of linoleum, and even bits of people in their insides." (Martin Powley, 2006, pg.1) "The shark has a number of features which make it a noble hunter such as good eyesight, which allows for access to murkier waters which can offer varieties of prey and its acute sense of smell which enable it to react to faint traces of blood in its waters and is able to follow them to the source. Tiger Sharks have an ability to pick up low-frequency pressure waves produced by the movements of swimming animals, in a usual case, the thrashing of an injured animal, enables the shark to be introduced to a variety of prey. The shark is known to be aggressive. The ability to pick up low-frequency pressure waves enables the shark to advance towards an animal with confidence, even in the environment of murky water where it is often found. The shark is known to circulate its prey and even study it by prodding it with its snout. The attack is a brutal mess, as the shark devours all of its prey. Because of its aggressive nature of feeding, it is common to find a variety of foreign objects inside the digestive track of a tiger shark. The most well known of these would be automobile number plates as well as Petroleum cans and tires."...

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