If you’ve ever wondered if tiger sharks live near Georgia, we’re here to confirm it! What’s more, we also spotted the largest tiger shark ever caught in Georgia – you won’t believe how big it is!
Plus, we’ve prepared a list of other sharks that live around Georgia, as well as some details on where to see tiger sharks in captivity! But first, let us tell you what tiger sharks are, what they look like, what they eat and where they live.
What is a Tiger Shark?
Tiger sharks are scientifically known as Galeocerdo cuvier. They are the only living members Galeocerdo belongs to. Tiger sharks are requiem sharks, which means they live in tropical and subtropical waters and migrate when the seasons change and the weather cools. Other Requiem Sharks are:
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- bull shark;
- black nose shark;
- spin shark;
- Gray reef shark.
Tiger Shark: Appearance
Adult tiger sharks are about 10-14 feet long and can weigh 850 to 1,400 pounds. Female tiger sharks are larger than male tiger sharks. While males rarely exceed 12-13 feet, larger females have been recorded reaching lengths of up to 16 feet 5 inches. Large females can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. The tiger shark is the second largest predatory shark after the great white.
Tiger sharks come in shades of blue to light green. Their underbelly is white or yellowish. This coloring allows the shark to camouflage in the water and confuse its prey. Young sharks have black spots and stripes that fade as the shark gets older.
Tiger Shark: Feed
Tiger sharks typically hunt at night, eating just about anything they stumble upon, including trash, hence their other name, “junk eaters.” They eat fish, crustaceans, birds, seals, turtles, squid, dolphins, and smaller sharks. Thanks to their unique and sharp teeth that can even cut through turtle shells, they can eat things that cannot be eaten. Rows of new teeth always replace those of the tiger shark.
These sharks are top predators or apex predators. This means they are at the top of the food chain and have no natural enemies. However, there have also been instances of tiger sharks being caught and eaten by orcas. Killer whales, or orcas, are the largest members of the oceanic dolphin family.
Tiger Shark: Habitat
Galeocerdo cuvier Lives in tropical and subtropical waters and migrates closer to the equator during the colder season. They have been found in Japan, New Zealand, Africa, China, India, Australia, Indonesia, the Gulf of Mexico, around the beaches of North America, parts of South America and even in the Mediterranean, near Sicily and near Spain. Tiger sharks have been seen in the Caribbean.
Do tiger sharks live near Georgia?
Yes, tiger sharks live off Georgia. Tiger sharks and bull sharks are the most common and aggressive species in the area. Other sharks that live near Georgia are:
- Atlantic crocodile;
- lemon shark;
- black tip shark;
- nurse shark;
- spin shark;
- black shark;
- scalloped hammerhead shark;
- bone shark;
- sand tiger shark;
- spiny dogfish;
- sandbar shark.
What was the largest tiger shark ever seen in Georgia?
On August 10, 1975, Chuck Hall of Brunswick captured the largest tiger shark ever captured in Georgia. Hall captured it on a private boat at St. Simons Sound near STS. It is 12 feet 8 inches long and weighs 794 pounds.
The largest tiger shark caught by a woman in Georgia weighed 190 pounds. Pam Page collected it on June 3, 2012 on J-Reef near the main freewheel. The shark is 8 feet 5 inches long. This catch is now the current record for a Georgia female tiger shark.
Will Tiger Sharks Attack You In Georgia?
Tiger shark attacks in Georgia are rare and rarely fatal. The International Shark Attack File shows there have been just six shark bites in Georgia since 2012, and none of them have died. From 1837 to the present, Georgia has recorded 17 unprovoked shark attacks, according to the same document. That’s minuscule compared with Florida’s 896 attacks or Hawaii’s 182 attacks. Georgia DNR Coastal Resources Director Duane Harris said shark attacks in Georgia are rare because they have plenty of food in nearby waters, so they don’t have to attack people for no reason.
Are tiger sharks aggressive?
Yes, tiger sharks are aggressive. They rank second among the world’s 7 most aggressive sharks, after the great white and ahead of the bull shark. They attacked 138 people, 36 of whom died, according to the data. The top-ranked great white shark has attacked 354 people, killing 57 of them.
Many of the attacks may have been linked to the curious creatures of the tiger shark. If they see movement or reflexes, they will likely check it out and end up attacking the person. Also, since they can be found in harbors, reefs, and estuaries, they are likely to stumble upon humans and attack them.
Although shark attacks in Georgia are rare, we strongly recommend that you exercise extreme caution when entering tiger shark infested waters.
Does the Georgia Aquarium have tiger sharks?
The Georgia Aquarium does have a tiger shark. Other sharks it lives with include:
- Great Hammerhead Shark;
- sand tiger shark;
- silvertip shark.
The Georgia Aquarium’s shark exhibit is one of the largest and most dynamic in North America. Opening hours are Monday to Thursday 9am to 9pm and Friday to Sunday 8am to 9pm. Tickets range from $39.95 to $295, depending on what you plan to watch and how you want access. These prices include home visits and even aquarium memberships. The Georgia Aquarium parking lot is located at 357 Luckie Street, NW Atlanta, GA 30313.
But let’s say you still want to see a tiger shark or other sharks on display, but can’t visit the aquarium. In this case, you can always do it online, as the Georgia Aquarium offers a live experience! You can check it out here. Just don’t forget that the live cameras are turned off at night.
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