"It is truly remarkable," said the study author Guy Harvey, a renowned fisheries ecologist.

Tiger sharks are among the largest and most recognisable sharks on the planet, yet many of their habits remain mysterious because they are long-distance travelers that are hard to track.

Long believed to be mainly a coastal species, the tiger sharks, in fact, made more than 7,500 km, round-trip journeys every year between two vastly different ecosystems -- the coral reefs of the Caribbean and the open waters of the mid-North Atlantic, the study showed.

The researchers were able to show that adult male tiger sharks in the Atlantic repeatedly spend their winters in Caribbean island locales including the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands and Anguilla.

Then, during summers, they travel far into the North Atlantic, often more than 3,500 km and as far north as Connecticut, though well offshore in nearly the middle of the ocean. What makes the tiger sharks so committed to particular areas is still an open question. At the south end, the story may be fairly simple.

Female tiger sharks are common in the Caribbean in winters, so the Caribbean may just be the best place for male tiger sharks to find dates, although this is just an educated guess, the study said.



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