Let me start off this post by saying that sharks are absolutely my most favorite animal. My sudden interest emerged in 1994, when a badly drawn, yet amazing cartoon aired: Street Sharks. And being a child of the 80’s, my favorite character was the tiger shark, Streex, whose body was teal with purple stripes and who wore cutoff shorts and roller blades. Obviously, the coolest of his brothers.
Therefore, I’d like to spotlight my favorite shark: the Tiger.
Tiger sharks are part of what I like to call the Five Gills Club. These are your most bad-ass and well known sharks: Tiger, Great White, Hammerhead, Bull … my mantra is: if it’s got five gills, get out of the water.
Anyway, Tigers are big guys, averaging between 10-20 feet, with broad noses and stripped backs. They’re known as garbage trucks, because they’ll eat almost anything and have been found with tin cans, tires and shoes in their stomachs. Besides our discards, they prefer sea turtles. Ever heard the term yum yum yellow? It derives from their attraction to the yellow underbellies of sea turtles. Wish I’d known that before I bought all yellow scuba gear…
These guys tend to feed in shallow-coastal waters. Like all sharks, they are attracted to blood, but also by splashing, as they’re drawn to the flapping motions of injured fish.
Most bites incurred by sharks are merely investigatory, however, that doesn’t change the fact that when a major predator wants to know what you are, it could mean the loss of a limb or your life. I separate sharks into two other major groups: those which rip off a hand/foot and those which rip off the entire limb. Obviously, Tigers fall into the latter.
They are known to be one of the more aggressive species of sharks, so if you’re swimming in places like Hawaii or Australia, be aware. You’re on their turf. It would be like skipping through Africa and getting mad at a lion for attacking you. Don’t be stupid! Sharks are pretty awesome and clearly top of the food chain.
Here are some fun videos:
Street Shark opening sequence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqGQyMF5a_0
Shark Academy (cheesy, but entertaining): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwZ1NO1D7Mo