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TYPES OF SHARKS
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The Bull Shark is also known as the cub,
Ganges, Nicaragua, river,
shovelnose, slipway grey, square-nose, Van Rooyen's, and Zambezi shark.
- BULL SHARK
Scientific Name.... Carcharhinus Leucas
Family Name...... Carcharhinidae
- General Information: Bull sharks are very robust-bodied,
and have a blunt rounded snout that is wider than it is long and
its eyes are small. The first dorsal fin is much longer and more
pointed than the second dorsal fin. The bull shark is an aggressive
coastal dweller, which is responsible for most shark attacks on
- Size: The average adult male is around 7feet
in length, weighing in at approximately 200 pounds. The average
adult females are considerably larger at about 11.5 feet long
and weighing approximately 500 pounds. Bull sharks are born at
a length of 22- 31 inches.
- Teeth: Bull sharks have triangular shaped
teeth, which are serrated ( saw-edged ) and extremely sharp. these
teeth are located in several rows inside the bull sharks jaw.
The first two rows of teeth are used in obtaining prey, while
the other rows are kept in reserve to rotate in as needed to replace
lost or broken teeth.
- Color: Bull Sharks are primarily grey, with
an off-white underbelly.
- Feeding Habits: A bull shark will eat almost
anything. They feed on a wide range of prey such as bony fishes
( including freshwater eels, toadfishes tarpon, sea catfishes,
flounders, snake fishes, box fishes, snappers and mullet.) Adults
are also well-known for other elasmobranchs ( including hammerheads,
stingrays, sawfishes, skates and eagle rays ). In captivity they
will consume any sharks or rays, tank mates that are small enough
to subdue and things that fall overboard such as cattle, dogs,
rats and people. They are also known to prey on juvenile sharks
in nursery grounds.
Social Behaviour: Bull sharks are solitary
hunters. Most are not migratory, but some south american bull
sharks have been known to travel from the Amazon river, thousands
of miles to the Atlantic Ocean.
Habitat | Migration | Distribution: The Bull
Shark is a coastal dweller which can be found in all tropical
and sub tropical oceans. Bull sharks can tolerate highly salty
sea water and fresh water. It can even be found in a few freshwater
rivers, lakes, and estuaries as it can live for a while in fresh
water. Bull sharks have been found as far as 1,750 miles up
the Mississippi river in the United States, and 2,500 miles
up the Amazon River in Peru. They have even been found in Lake
Nicaragua in Central America, and the Zambezi River in Africa.
Because it frequents shallow coastal waters where people swim,
and is quite aggressive, the Bull Shark is the most frequent
attacker of humans. This shark has appears to have a preference
for muddy water, which may explain why it has such small eyes.
Life Span: It is believed that the bull shark
has an average life span of 14 years.
Reproduction: Bull Sharks reproduce viviparously,
which means that like mammals, the give birth to live young
that have been nourished by a placenta. After a gestation period
of about a year, a litter of 1-13 pups is born. These pups measure
about 28 inches long at birth. Young baby bull sharks are found
frequently in briny water, in protected bays near the mouths
Swimming: Bull Sharks cruise along the bottom,
often appearing sluggish, but are quick and capable of bursts
of speed at 11mph!
- Bull Shark Attacks: The bull shark is one of
the four most dangerous sharks in the world. Bull sharks like
to swim near land and at 10 feet are large enough and therefore
attack people more often.
Population Report: It is not legally protected
in any part of its range, nor is it a targeted species.