Sand tiger shark

The sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus) is one of the few sharks which, to maintain its buoyancy, takes mouthfuls of air which it accumulates in its stomach, acting as a float.

Where to find them?

In the Oceans tank, the largest tank in the aquarium, with 7 million litres of water.

General aspects

The sand tiger shark is characterised by having a fusiform body (tapered and hydrodynamic), with a relatively pointed snout, and for the greyish brown colour of its body and its white belly.

Occasionally, reddish brown marks may appear all over its body, denoting a certain youth. These marks disappear with age.

This shark always swims with its mouth partially open, showing its powerful jaws, each with three rows of teeth.

Which region do they inhabit?

They are distributed through all the relatively warm seas of the planet, except on the east coast of the Pacific Ocean. They live in areas near the coast, with sandy bottoms or coral, at an average depth of 60 metres.

What do they feed on?

A wide variety of fish (herring, sea bass, anchovies, snappers, hake, eels, mullet, remora, etc.), squid, crabs, lobsters and even other small sharks.

How do they reproduce?

The mating of sharks is curious, while aggressive. The male courts the female by biting the edge of her pectoral fins. Contrary to what one may think, these “affectionate bites” can leave deep scars on the female, despite being a strong incentive to increase her responsiveness.

After giving birth, females will rest for one year, during which time they will not mate.

Did you know...?

Sand tiger sharks are catalogued as a vulnerable species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).