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Sand Tiger Shark

Sand Tiger Shark

Animal's Behavior

In the wild sand tiger sharks have a tendency to stay close to the shoreline, near the surf zone. This can be rather intimating for surfers and swimmers. Despite this, they are typically docile, non-aggressive animals. They occasionally hunt in groups, and have even been known to attack full fishing nets.

Eating Habits

Their diet consists mainly of small fish, small sharks, rays, squid, and occasionally invertebrates.


Sand tiger sharks are found worldwide in temperate and tropical waters.

Conservation Efforts

The sand tiger shark is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN-Red List and is a candidate species for the U.S. Endangered Species list. Although sand tiger populations are considered widespread, they have one of the lowest reproduction rates of all sharks, giving birth to one or two large pups every two years. They are also susceptible to minimal population pressure. For this reason, it is listed as vulnerable and is protected in much of its range.

Animal Facts

  • The sand tiger shark is the only species of shark known to come to the surface and gulp air.
  • They have the ability to store air in their stomachs, which allows them to hover motionless in the water column and wait for prey.

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Quick Facts

Scientific Name

Carcharias taurus


Animalia, Chordata, Chondrichthyes, Elasmobranchii, Lamniformes, Odontaspididae, Carcharias


Maximum length of 10.5 feet


Grey-brown in color with spots along their sides


In the wild, sand tigers can live fifteen years or more. In captivity, with no predators and regular veterinary care, they can live well into their twenties.

Conservation Status


Where to See

Audubon Aquarium

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