A shark with many small fish swimming around

Photo: Bruce Sudweeks

Sand Tiger Shark

Sand tiger sharks guard many of the shipwrecks in the Graveyard of the Atlantic, patrolling these artificial reefs in search of fish and invertebrates to eat. Don’t be fooled by their rows of jagged teeth – these large sharks are generally quite docile, and typically swim calmly around divers.

A world map highlighting the east coast of the united staates, part of the east coast of south america, the southern coast of europa, parts of the african coast, the australian coat and part of the coat of southeast asia

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Carcharias taurus

DIET: Fish, rays, crabs, lobsters, and squid

LENGTH: Average 7 to 9 feet

WEIGHT: 200-350 pounds

LIFE SPAN: Estimated 10-15 years

STATUS: Protected in commercial fisheries under the Atlantic Fishery Management Plan

THREATS: Overfishing

FUN FACT: Sand tiger sharks are unique among sharks in that they often come to the ocean surface to gulp air. They retain this air in their stomach to help them to hover above the ocean floor.