Sand Tiger Shark

(Carcharias taurus)




Facts about this animal

The sandtiger shark is a large shark with a flattened conical snout and a long mouth that extends behind the eyes. The first dorsal fin is set back and is much closer to the pelvic fins than the pectoral fins. The anal and dorsal fins are large and broad-based and the second dorsal fin is almost the same size as the first dorsal. Gill slits are anterior to the origin of the pectoral fins in this species. The caudal fin of the sandtiger is asymmetrically shaped with a strongly pronounced upper lobe. Sand tiger sharks are generally light brown or light greenish coloured ? grey above and greyish white below. Many individuals have darker reddish or brown spots scattered on the body. Their teeth have prominent narrow cusps with lateral cusplets. The upper anterior teeth are separated by small intermediate teeth. There are 44 to 48 teeth in the upper and 41 to 46 teeth in the lower jaws. The teeth in the corners of the mouth are very small and numerous. The ragged looking teeth give the sandtiger a distinct menacing look.

Did you know?
that the sand tiger shark is the only shark species known to gulp air at the surface and store it in their stomach to provide buoyancy?


Name (Scientific) Carcharias taurus
Name (English) Sand Tiger Shark
Name (French) Requin taureau, Chien de mer
Name (German) Sandtigerhai
Name (Spanish) Toro bacota, Pintado, Sarda
Local names Otros nombres comunes de en inglés incluyen:grey nurse shark (Australia), ground shark, spotted raggedtooth shark, slender-tooth shark, spotted sandtiger shark y ground shark.
Africano: Spikkel-skeurtandhaai
Albanés: peshkaqen i eger
Árabe: Kalb
Griego: tavrocarcharias
Hebreo: Karish khol pari
Japonés: Shirowani
Portugués: Cacao-da-areia, Mangona
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Richard Ling



Range All subtropical and tropical oceans
Habitat Shallow coastal water
Wild population Unknown, but declining due to commercial fishing
Zoo population 67 reported to ISIS (2009)

In the Zoo

Sand Tiger Shark


How this animal should be transported

For air transport of small individuals, Container Note 52 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.

Sharks must be unpacked carefully and under low illumination.


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