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The bull shark prefers to live in shallow coastal waters
less than 100 feet deep (30 m), but ranges from 3-450 feet deep (1-150 m). It
commonly enters estuaries, bays, harbors, lagoons, and river mouths. It is the
only shark species that readily occurs in freshwater, and apparently can spend
long periods of time in such environs. It is not likely that the bull shark's
entire life cycle occurs within a freshwater system, however. There is evidence
that they can breed in freshwater, but not as regularly as they do in estuarine
and marine habitats. Juvenile bull sharks enter low salinity estuaries and
lagoons as readily as adults do, and use these shallow areas as nursery grounds.
They can also tolerate hypersaline water as high as 53 parts per thousand.
The maximum reported length of the bull shark is 11.5 feet (350 cm),
weighing over 500 pounds (230 kg). Size at birth is around 29 inches (75 cm).
Females grow larger than males, averaging 7.8 feet (240 cm) as adults, weighing
around 285 pounds (130 kg). This is the result of a longer lifespan of about 16
years, compared to 12 years for males. Males average 7.3 feet (225 cm) and weigh
209 pounds (95 kg). Growth rates calculated from captive bull sharks were
estimated to be about 11 inches (28 cm) per year in the first years of life,
slowing to half that rate after about 4 years of age.
The serious attacks are mainly by four species. The Bull shark. the
Tiger, the Great White and the Oceanic White tip shark. The Grey Nurse (Sand
Tiger) and the Bronze Whaler have for many years been blamed for many attacks
but it seems nearly all were mistaken identity. The Grey Nurse is now protected
in most States in Australia.
According to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) bull sharks are
historically responsible for at least 69 unprovoked attacks on humans around the
world, 17 of which resulted in fatality. In reality this species is likely
responsible for many more, and has been considered by many experts to be the
most dangerous shark in the world. It's large size, occurrence in freshwater
bodies, and greater abundance in close proximity to numerous human populations
in the tropics makes it more of a potential threat than either the white shark
or tiger shark. Since the bull shark occurs in numerous. Third World regions
including Central America, Mexico, India, east and west Africa, the Middle East,
Southeast Asia, and South Pacific Islands, attacks are often not reported. The
bull shark is also not as easily identifiable as the white or tiger shark, so is
likely responsible for a large percentage of attacks with unidentified culprits.
The Bull Shark is most commonly present in
Sub-tropical to tropical waters along the coasts of South Africa, Mozambique,
Mauritius, Burma, The Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Costa Rica & the Bahamas. The Bull
Sharks are mostly common in shallow waters in lagoons, bays and along beaches
and are found mostly in waters no deeper than 30m / 98ft. The female gives birth
to approximately 13 pups max and they are approximately 60cm / 24in in length
and grow up to 3.4m / 11ft. The females grow much larger than males.
Bull shark tooth necklaces