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The tiger shark is an apex predator and has a reputation for eating almost anything. These predators swim close inland to eat at night, and during the day swim out into deeper waters. Young tiger sharks are found to feed largely on small fish, as well as various small jellyfish, and mollusks including cephalopods. Around the time they attain 7.5 feet, or near sexual maturity, their selection expands considerably, and much larger animals become regular prey. Numerous fish, crustaceans, sea birds, sea snakes, marine mammals such as bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, spotted dolphins, dugongs, seals and sea lions, and sea turtles. They also eat other sharks, including adult sandbar sharks as well as rays, and sometimes even other tiger sharks.
The broad, heavily calcified jaws and nearly terminal mouth, combined with robust, serrated teeth, enable the tiger shark to take on these large prey. In addition, excellent eyesight and acute sense of smell enable it to react to faint traces of blood and follow them to the source. The ability to pick up low-frequency pressure waves enables the shark to advance towards an animal with confidence, even in murky water. The shark circles its prey and studies it by prodding it with its snout. When attacking, the shark often eats its prey whole.
|Dimensions||20 × 20.5 × 6 in|
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