Tiger Shark or Great White?

Elusive and dangerous, the tiger shark is high on the Shark Men’s  list for tagging. Little is known about these sharks and there is much research to be done. This week’s tiger shark makes a first for the team on this trip. It’s understandable that they would be excited. Everybody loves a “bad boy” and the tiger shark’s reputation for being dangerous is only outdone by the great white shark.  So what makes a tiger shark different from a great white?

Hungry Like a Tiger

The tiger shark only has an obvious stripe pattern when it is young, but like the forest predator that shares its stripes and name, it is a voracious hunter. However, it doesn’t have a discriminating palate. Tiger sharks are known for a varied diet and for gulping down just about anything that could possibly be edible including license plates and tires. What it is often known for as well is its willingness to put the occasional human on the menu. While the tiger shark doesn’t seek out people for consumption, it is not a good idea to be in the wrong place at feeding time. Second only to great white sharks in human attacks, the tiger sharks can be more dangerous as they are not as willing to leave an unfinished meal.

Kinder and Gentler Great White?

The great white shark although responsible for one third to one half of shark attacks on any given year actually doesn’t seem to have much of a hankering for humans. Curious by nature, the great white’s bites seem to be a taste test which results in the great white moving on for a more appetizing meal. So we aren’t actually on the menu. The great white is however, the largest of the sharks, averaging 15 feet and sometimes growing longer than 20 feet and weighing in at a whopping 5,000 pounds. Being tasted by one is not good for your health.

The Better to Eat You With

The tiger shark is a somewhat smaller shark than the great white, but still one of the largest. The tiger shark commonly reaches a length of 10 to 14 feet, but can grow as large as 20 feet.  They can also weigh between 850 and 1,900 pounds. This voracious eater may be smaller than a great white, but it has impressive and distinct teeth with curved cusps and finely serrated edges, unlike the great white’s triangular teeth. The tiger shark’s upper and lower teeth are similar in shape and size, getting smaller toward the mouth’s corners creating in an impressive bit of engineering that works equally well for grabbing and for cutting. According to these Shark Men, these nasty teeth also match a more irritable temperament than the white sharks which they are accustomed to tagging.

So which would you rather wrestle, a great white or a tiger shark?  Watch this week when Shark Men tag their first tiger shark in Mexican water and decide for yourself!

 Tune in Saturday, April 7th, 8 ET/PT

Comments

  1. Morgan
    Seattle
    January 19, 2013, 12:14 am

    Oh, a great white. It seems these sharks have more of a bite and release tactic, and tigers are notorious for coming back for more! Plus statistically more people survive great white attacks. Or I’ll just stay out of the ocean:)

  2. chris
    Connecticut
    March 26, 2013, 7:35 am

    I would say a great white would win because it has the strongest bite pressure of any LIVING creature. Also, it is larger. And lastly, they are capable of hunting other sharks.

  3. jayflounor
    April 12, 2013, 1:05 pm

    good

  4. Angel
    May 29, 2013, 9:36 am

    crazy my favorite is the tiger shark

  5. joseph cool
    detroit mi
    July 11, 2013, 3:12 pm

    Actually gators and crocs have much more powerfully bites than any shark. A sharks bite is pretty unimpressive bit it doesn’t need a strong jaw with all those big razor sharp teeth. The largest tiger shark ever caught was actually longer than any great white ever recorded and a sleaker better all around killing machine. Killer whales have been known to hunt and kill great white sharks making them one of the top ocean predators only behind large bull sperm whales

  6. Sam
    December 24, 2013, 1:32 pm

    Actually Chris a great white shark bite pressure is considerably less than expected, although its large size and weight, the bull shark has the highest bite pressure of all sharks. Which is a shame cause I prefer the tiger shark and I have heard that they can physically rip a man in half with the teeth and speed they build when biting a man. Also with their attitude to eat anything such as metal has been found inside them, and being know to attack whales, the tiger shark is my favorite shark species. Also agreeing with Joseph I believe the Crocodile has one of the worsts bites, especially with its lock on jaw.

  7. hugh jass
    united states
    February 6, 3:06 am

    chris before u comment get ur facts right a great whites jaw power is the same as a humans but the teeth is the thing that kill besides tiger sharks have killed more people then bull or tiger in the us stats:tiger shark 43 fatal tiger shark attacks/bull shark 36 and great white 28 so yeah tiger would probs win!