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Tiger Shark Diet High In Turtle and Blubber

According to the NOAA article on the tiger shark, Tutles and Marine Mamals make up a huge components of a tiger shark’s diet. Tiger sharks are common to South Carolina. Knowing the diet can make a big difference in your shark fishing experience.

“Muscle and blubber from marine mammals were found in 24% of the stomachs we examined. Several species of sharks have been found with mammal remains in their stomachs, but the tiger shark with its cavernous mouth and large stomach capacity is particularly well adapted for devouring large prey. Because there is no evidence in the literature that tiger sharks successfully prey on healthy dolphins, porpoises, and whales, it is possible that these food items came from dead or moribund animals. Their large, blade-like teeth enable them to easily bite through bone and shells of large sea turtles. Although our data suggest that predation on sea turtles is relatively low north of Cape Hatteras, NC other studies have shown that in areas of higher turtle abundance (tropics and subtropics), turtle remains occur in tiger shark stomachs with much greater frequency (10-36%). The primary evidence of attacks on turtles is from the remains of shells and flippers found in shark stomachs. Some maimed turtles heal and survive, but an unknown percentage must surely die. Trash items we found in stomachs included small stones, sand, plastic bags, and assorted garbage such as pork chops, hot dogs, hamburgers, and beef bones. The small stones and sand were likely ingested along with bottom-dwelling prey. Overall, 46 stomachs (81%) contained some kind of food item.”

Here is a link to the artice: http://na.nefsc.noaa.gov/sharks/newsletter/98/tiger.html

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