Species encyclopedia

Sand Tiger Shark

Carcharias taurus


The sand tiger shark migrates seasonally in a shoal. Like all sharks, the adults mate to reproduce.

The male holds onto the female by biting her around her gills or fins. As a result, the females tend to have more scars than the males.


Once the egg forms, an embryo starts to develop inside the uterus, but with no connection to the maternal organism, thanks instead to its own reserves (ovoviviparous mode). Gestations lasts eight to nine months. At birth, the young measure roughly 1 m. The female stops feeding during the reproductive period.

The sharp teeth of the sand tiger shark are perfect for catching prey on the move, which it then swallows whole. It mainly hunts fish, cuttlefish and some crustaceans. Despite its threatening appearance, the sand tiger shark does not attack humans.

An astonishing fact about sand tiger sharks: cannibalism in utero. The most developed embryos devour any unfertilized eggs, as well as the weakest embryos. This phenomenon represents the natural selection of the toughest specimens, even before birth.



Species encyclopedia

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