Sand Tiger Shark: Close Up

The sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus), grey nurse shark, spotted ragged-tooth shark, or blue-nurse sand tiger is a species of shark that inhabits subtropical and temperate waters worldwide. It inhabits the continental shelf, from sandy shorelines (hence the name sand tiger shark) and submerged reefs to a depth of around 191 m (627 ft).

They dwell in the waters of Japan, Australia, South Africa, the Mediterranean and the east coasts of North and South America. It is not related to the tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier; however, it is a cousin of the great white shark Carcharodon carcharias. Despite its fearsome appearance and strong swimming ability, it is a relatively placid and slow-moving shark with no confirmed human fatalities. This species has a sharp, pointy head, and a bulky body. The sand tiger's length can reach 3.2 m (10.5 ft).

They are grey with reddish-brown spots on their backs. Shivers (groups) have been observed to hunt large schools of fish. Their diet consists of bony fish, crustaceans, squid, skates and other sharks. Unlike other sharks, the sand tiger can gulp air from the surface, allowing it to be suspended in the water column with minimal effort. During pregnancy, the most developed embryo will feed upon its siblings, a reproductive strategy known as intrauterine cannibalism i.e. "embryophagy" or, more colorfully, adelphophagy — literally "eating one's brother." The sand tiger is categorized as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. It is the most widely kept large shark in public aquariums owing to its tolerance for captivity.