Northern pike and muskellunge are two of the most impressive fish species found in Michigan waters. What do you get when you cross the two? The result is an equally impressive tiger-striped hybrid known at the tiger musky.
Like its parents, the tiger musky is equipped with extremely sharp teeth. These teeth are used to grab and hold other fish. Unlike sharks or piranhas, the tiger musky cannot bite chunks of flesh out of its prey. This means that it must swallow prey fish whole.
This limits the size of prey that tiger musky can consume. Fisheries biologists call this gape limitation because the gape of the tiger musky’s mouth determines the size of the fish it can swallow. Since prey fish are typically swallowed head first, the depth of a prey fish’s body can save it from being swallowed.