The tiger shark’s common name originates from the tiger-like stripes on the backs of juveniles that allow them to blend in with their environment.
The tiger shark’s genus, Galeocerdo, is derived from the Greek galeos, which means shark, and kerdo, the word for fox. The tiger shark is often colloquially called the man-eater shark.
The tiger shark’s common name derives from the unique camouflage patterning of juveniles. Tiger shark pups are born with tiger-like stripes on their back and a lightly colored yellow or white belly. This camouflage patterning and coloration provides protection against predators and allowed the juveniles to to blend in with the environment. These stripes fade as the juveniles reach adulthood, which is around 6 to 8 years.
• Image | ©️ tobze, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
• Sources | (Cressey & Lachner, 1970; Draper, 2011; Driggers III, et al., 2008; Heithaus, et al., 2007; Pratt, Jr., 1988; Read, 2010; Tang & Newbound, 2004; Whitney & Crow, 2007; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2018)