Tiger Shark

Three bar jacks and a female tiger shark swim through the ocean off the coast of the Bahamas.
© Brian Skerry,

Three bar jacks and a female tiger shark, nearly 4-meters long, swim off the coast of the Bahamas in this image captured by National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry. 

For nearly 30 years, Skerry has been swimming with and photographing sharks, including great whites, tigers, bulls, blacktips, and great hammerheads all over the world. In his first blog post for the Smithsonian Ocean Portal, "Swimming with Sharks," Skerry reflects on these exhilarating experiences.

The distinct color pattern of young tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) has earned this species its common name. The tiger shark occupies warm waters around the world, and its large size, power, and unselective and opportunistic feeding habits have labeled it one of the most dangerous sharks in tropical waters. Direct and incidental fishing catches, also known as bycatch, pose threats to the species' numbers. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the tiger shark as "Near Threatened" and warns that continued demand, especially for fins, may result in future population declines.