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Bull Shark

Threat Level:  High

The Bull Shark is also known as the cub, Ganges, Nicaragua, river,
shovelnose, slipway grey, square-nose, Van Rooyen's, and Zambezi 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 humans.


  • 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 of rivers.

  • 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.



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