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Common Name: Sand tiger shark
Latin Name: Carcharias taurus
Size/weight: Up to 10 or 11 feet long, though usually not that long. Weight is up to 350 pounds.
Range: Most warmer oceans, except the Eastern Pacific, including Long Island Sound. They're the largest of the native species of sharks in the Sound.
Habitat: Found most often in coastal waters, though sand tiger sharks can sometimes be found in deeper offshore waters.
Diet: What’s not on the sand tiger shark’s menu? Although they will eat almost anything (fish, crustaceans, etc…), because they are a slow-moving shark they tend to eat very little (in proportion to their body size).
Predators: Humans and other sharks.
Description: Sand tiger sharks are light brown to grey in color, with lighter shading on their undersides. This “countershading” is a sort of camouflage that makes the animal more difficult for its prey to see. A distinguishing factor is that, unlike most other sharks, the sand tiger shark’s two dorsal fins are about the same size. And its teeth are visible at all times.
Of Interest: Sand tiger shark pups practice in vitro cannibalism. While still inside its mother, pups consume each other and any unhatched eggs until only one survives. And with only one pup born at a time, the sand tiger shark recovers slowly from population setbacks.