Bull shark

Species profile

Name: the bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) is a large requiem shark found in warm, shallow waters around the world. They are known for their aggressive natures and their ability to live in freshwater environments.

Appearance: bull sharks get their name from their massive, stocky bodies and broad, flat snouts.

Size: adults typically range from 2.2 to 2.4 metres long although they can often reach up to 3.5 metres. The largest ever bull shark on record reached 4.0 metres while the heaviest weighed 315 kg.

Diet: they typically eat fish, stingrays, and small sharks although have been recorded eating turtles, birds, dolphins, terrestrial mammals, and crustaceans. They hunt in murky waters where it is harder for prey to see them coming.

Did you know: unlike most sharks, bull sharks are able to live in both salt and freshwater. This is due to them possessing several unique organs which they use to maintain their salt and water balance. They are able to live in freshwater for their entire lives, although this doesn’t happen often as they breed in the open sea. It is also this ability to live in freshwater rivers that brings them into conflict with humans – earning them the reputation of one of the most dangerous sharks in the world.

Location: they are found worldwide in warm coastal seas, rivers and lakes, and occasionally salt and freshwater streams (if they are deep enough).

Best places to see bull sharks

According to reports submitted to WildSide, the best places to see bull sharks are as follows:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Playa Santa Lucia
very high
very good

Photo credit: Daniel Kwok, under a Creative Commons license from Flickr

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