Sand Tiger Shark (Carcharias taurus)

Previously called Odontaspis taurus, the sand tiger shark is the most common shark sighted along Atlantic beaches.

It grows to about 9 feet and is grayish-brown or tan, with dark brown spots along the sides that grow more numerous toward the tail; although it bears a resemblance to the tiger shark, it has a larger second dorsal fin, a longer snout, and strongly projecting teeth.

Usually caught accidentally by surf casters fishing for other fish, sand tigers are sluggish and offer little resistance when hooked. In the western Atlantic, they occur from the Gulf of Maine to Argentina.