Smalltooth sandtiger shark, Bumpytail raggedtooth shark.
set body. Origin of first dorsal fin level with posterior margin of pectoral fins.
Second dorsal fin roughly 2/3rds as large as first dorsal. Snout more conical
Carcharias taurus. Dorsal coloration brown
to greyish gold usually with some scattered darker spots or blotches. Ventral coloration
Eyes large. Teeth pointed with long central cusp plus two small cusps on each side.
Maximum length 410cm.
The smalltooth sandtiger is found
on or near the bottom on rocky reefs and sand slopes in temperate and tropical waters.
13 to 420m.
More common below 60m.
and distribution: Maybe worldwide in temperate and deep tropical
seas. Scattered records from both side of
Central America, Southern Europe and North Africa, Madagascar,
Southern India and Northern Australia suggest a broad distribution.
sandtigers are usually
seen circling slowly
on deep reefs or in gullies. Often in small groups or alone.
viviparous. Pups are fed by oopagy i.e.
eggs are released from the ovaries to feed developing embryos.
IUCN Red List Status: As
of 2011 considered vulnerable. Rare and numbers decreasing.
Bajo del Monstruo,
Isla Malpelo, Columbia.
shark (Carcharias taurus). Identified by more dorsally compressed snout,
smaller eyes and
with a first dorsal fin positioned much closer to the pelvic fins.
to divers: More or less ignores divers unless very closely approached. Not
known to be aggressive but rarely encountered.
Encountered in very few locations by divers. Seen fairly regularly in deep water
(60m+) on Bajo del Monstruo - a dive site at Isla
Malpelo which is approximately 200 miles off the Pacific Coast of Panama. Trips
to this remote and extremely shark infested island can be arranged aboard the
Inula - a liveaboard catamaran that makes 11 day trips to the island. The
smalltooth sandtiger sharks are present between December and April but there is
no guarantee that they will be present. The Inula has around a 70% success
record of finding these sharks. Trips during the peak sandtiger season can be
Big Fish Expeditions.
Smalltooth sandtiger sharks are also occasionally seen during the summer in
relatively shallow water at El Hierro in the Canary Islands. Sightings at this
location are far more unpredictable than Malpelo.
The third location where these sharks are encountered is off the coast of
Lebanon at a dive site named Shark Point. Divers interested in this dive should
contact dive shops in Beirut for further information.
Other diving locations submitted by readers:
In 2010 two lucky divers were approached by a smalltooth sandtiger in a kelp
forest in Southern California.
and Rays - Elasmobranch Guide of the World. Ralf M. Hennemann. IKAN.
Sharks of the World Leonard Compagno et al.