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Interesting facts about tiger sharks

Tiger shark in Hurghada

A few interesting facts about tiger sharks

The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) from the Carcharhinidae family, which is also found in the Red Sea in Egypt, is one of the most dangerous sharks. We may see this species of shark while diving around Hurghada but very rarely. It accounts for 19% of human victims of shark attacks, but these events are extremely rare. It grows up to 5 meters in length and the largest individuals can reach a weight of up to 900 kg. Females are bigger than males. Its habitat is the open sea, deep lagoons and reef walls with sufficient food. This shark feeds on literally everything, eating various fish, other sharks, dolphins, stingrays, turtles, birds, crustaceans, mammals and even various garbage. It feeds mostly at night. During the day it is usually at greater depths and at night it can surface in the shallows. Tiger shark lives more than 30 years, probably up to 50 years. It can be recognized by the vertical stripes on the body, similar to tigers, which disappear with age.

Reproduction of tiger sharks

Female tiger sharks mate approximately once every three years. During reproduction itself, the male holds the female with his teeth to keep her still, which is inconvenient for her. The female is pregnant for a little over a year. This species of shark is one of the few ovoviviparous. This means that the baby shark in the mother's body develops in the egg, not in the placenta. However, females give birth to live young in the Red Sea between April and July. She can give birth to up to 80 baby sharks. During fertilization, there are around 80 embryos in the mother's body, but fewer of them usually develop. Females usually give birth to thirty babies, roughly 50 to 70 centimeters in size. What is interesting and unusual about sharks, tiger sharks care for their young, which probably stay with their mother for up to six months. After giving birth, the mother wants to protect her young, and for that reason she looks for a place on the shoal with poorer visibility.

Tiger shark attack in Hurghada

In the afternoon of 8th June 2023, there was a fatal shark attack at the public Dream Beach in the city center. It was a pregnant female that was caught and killed in a short time. Upon examination of its entrails, it was confirmed that it was indeed a shark that had attacked. The female was probably looking for a place to drop her young. After the incident, entry into the water on the beaches of Hurghada was banned and also all water activities, including diving, were banned for the next two days. 

Read also A STATEMENT ON LATEST SHARK BEHAVIOR from HEPCA (Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association).

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