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Bull Shark

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Bull Shark
(Carcharhinus Leucas)

Scientifically known as Carcharhinus Leucas, the Bull Shark can be easily found in the oceans. Bull Shark is one of the 43 species of shark found in both seawater and fresh water. Known to be one of the best shark species, the Bull Shark looks generic, unlike the other sharks.

Bull Shark is one of the three sharks that are most likely to attack humans; the other two being the Great White Shark and the Tiger Shark. However, data suggests that less than 4.5% of deaths are by shark attacks globally. Due to its aggressive behavior, this shark has been tagged “The Pit Bull of the Sea”.

Bull Sharks have only 50% of the salt concentration in their blood, unlike the other sharks that have the same amount of salt concentration in their blood as the sea water that they swim in. This characteristic feature offers Bull Sharks an advantage in terms of switching from saltwater to freshwater. However, as a consequence, Bull Sharks produce 20 times more urine when swimming in the fresh water.

Bull Sharks get their name from their short, blunt snout, and pugnacious disposition and the tendency to head-butt their prey before attacking. The medium-sized sharks are quite aggressive, common and usually never live near high-population areas like the tropical shorelines. The brackish or freshwater does not bother a Bull Shark.

Bull Shark
Habitat and Behavior

Found at depths of around 150 m (490 ft), and not meaning to swim any deeper than 30m (98 ft), the Bull Shark can survive even if the water is just two feet deep. Bull Sharks are one amongst the only few species that can be found in freshwaters such as lakes, rivers, and streams all around the world. The Bull Shark is commonly found worldwide in coastal areas of the warmer oceans; In the Atlantic, it is found from Massachusetts to southern Brazil, and from Morocco to Angola.

Most female Bull Sharks give birth in shallow waters in order to prevent their younger ones from getting eaten by the bigger sharks in deep waters. They are known to mate during late summer and early autumn, often in freshwater or in the brackish water of the river mouths. Bull Sharks gestate for 122 months, after which they give birth to around 1 to 13 younger ones. Bull Sharks reach their maturity after about 10 years of age and become completely mature once they are 15 or 20 years old. They mate via internal fertilization and give birth to well-developed younger ones. Bull sharks do not connect to their young through a placenta. During the gestation period, the embryos survive off of yolk sacs attached to each individual.  The adults normally grow up to 3.5 meters (11 feet) long and weigh around 300 kilograms (660 pounds). Typically, the female Bull Sharks are larger than the males and tend to live longer as well. Most males live for about 13 years, while females live for about 17 years of age. The younger specimens are free from predators while they grow up in the river. The ability of a Bull Shark to survive in both, the fresh water and the salt water functions as another benefit. The Bull Sharks are mostly attacked by bigger sharks that are able to survive only in the salt water. This leaves minimal chances of a younger Bull Shark to be attacked or harmed by a bigger one. They enter the salt water once they have grown up entirely and are able to find their own mates.

Bull Sharks can be easily found cruising the shallow and warm waters of all the world’s oceans. Being fast and agile predators, they will eat almost anything they see, including fish, dolphins and even other sharks. Unlikely to what has been thought of them, Bull Sharks do not tend to attack humans, per se. However, they often attack people inadvertently or out of curiosity.

Bull Shark -
Physical Description

  • Size: – Being one of the largest requiem sharks, belong to the family Carcharhinide, Bull Sharks reach the lengths of 11 feet (3.5 m) and weights of around 700 pounds (315 kg). Being larger than males, the adult female Bull shark’s average height is 2.4m (7.9 ft) and its weight is 130 kg (290 lb), whereas the smaller adult male’s average height is 2.25m (7.4 ft) and weight is 95kg (209 lb). While a maximum size of 3.5m (11 ft) is commonly reported, a single record exists of a female specimen of exactly 4.0m (13.1 ft). The maximum recorded weight of a Bull Shark is 315kg (694 lb) till date.
  • Appearance: – Bull Sharks are quite large and stout in appearance. These fish are wider and heavier than the other requiem sharks of comparable length and are grey on top and white from below. The fins of the Bull Shark, particularly younger ones have dark tips. The second dorsal fin of a Bull Shark is smaller than the first one. The Bull Shark’s caudal fin is longer and lower than that of the larger sharks, with a small snout. The Bull Shark lacks an interdorsal ridge and has a bite force of up to 5,914 Newtons (1330 lbf).

Bull Shark
Conditions for Survival

The Bull Sharks are aggressive predators and eat a variety of prey. They are particularly known to eat several species of the bony fish, small sharks, some mammals (terrestrial and marine both), seabirds, and sometimes sea turtles, as well. The Bull Shark’s diet also consists of stingrays, dolphin, starfish, sea urchins, crustaceans, and even land mammals that come to drink at the water’s edge. Bull Sharks usually hunt in murky waters where it is harder for the prey to identify the shark coming. The fish usually uses the bump-and-bite technique to attack its prey. After the first initial contact, the Bull Shark continues to bite and tackle its prey until it is unable to flee. Commonly known to be a solitary hunter, Bull Shark, often teams up with fellow Bull Sharks to make hunting easier.

Sharks are known to eat in short bursts, and when the food is scarce, they digest for a much longer period of time in order to avoid starvation of its own. As a part of their survival mechanism, the Bull Sharks regurgitate the food in their stomach in order to escape from its predator. This acts as a distraction tactic, in case the predator moves to eat the regurgitated food to be used given an opportunity to escape.

Being opportunistic feeders, adult Bull Sharks do not have any natural predators. However, they seldom have the fear of being attacked by other animals; humans being its biggest threat. Larger sharks, such as the Tiger shark, and the great white shark may attack them. In rivers, Bull Sharks may get attacked by Crocodiles, as have been observed as falling prey to Saltwater crocodiles.

Bull Shark
Other Names

The name ‘Bull Shark’ has been derived from the shark’s stocky shape, broad, flat snout, and aggressive, unpredictable behavior. In India, the bull shark may even be confused with the Sundarbans or Ganges Shark.

In Africa, the Bull Shark is commonly referred to as the Zambezi River shark, or ‘Zambi’.

Due to the wide range and diverse habitats of the Bull Shark, it has been given a number of local names such as Fitzroy Creek Whaler, Van Rooyen’s Shark, Lake Nicaragua Shark, River Shark, Freshwater Whaler, Estuary Whaler, Swan River Whaler, Cub Shark, and Shovelnose Shark.

Aruba Fishing Seasons and
Availability of Bull Shark

With the closing of the previous and the beginning of New Year, the Bull Shark start flooding the Aruba waters in the months of December, January, February, and March. However, you may also try your luck on a Bull Shark in the months of April, October, and November.
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Bull Shark
How to make the Catch?

Being one among the most significant fish species, the Bull Sharks are subject to a log of fishing pressure. To land your hands on to one of these, you must work under certain precautions.

It is advised to use the hooks that match the size of the bait, and line class your chosen tackle. To catch a Bull Shark, you must use chemically sharpened hooks, usually Mustad big red or similar in sizes as 3/0 to 6/0; for a light tackle, hooks of 3/0 are used while Mustad big gun hooks must be used when fishing in areas where the sharks are over 1.5m. Using the Nylon coated wire, and the live bait is also highly recommended. Using the low-frequency vibrations given off by the bait add on to attracting the fish. You may also use cut baits by soaking them in the tuna oil, giving an added scent to the sharks.

Bull Shark
Eating for Humans

Due to the presence of a high amount of toxins, it is advised not to consume much of the Bull Shark meat.

Bull Shark-
Unknown Facts

  • Bull Sharks are broader and more massive than other requiem sharks, the maximum length recorded is 3.5 m (11 ft) with the maximum weight recorded as 315 kg (694 Ib).
  • A Bull Shark is known to the bit with a force of 5914 Newtons (1330 IBF).
  • The average lifespan of a Bull Shark is 12 years in the wild.
  • Being fast swimmers, the Bull Sharks swim at the speed of 4.9 mph. However, they can accelerate up to 11.8 mph because of their long pectoral fins that give them the necessary speed.
  • The special gland, known as the Rectal gland helps the Bull Shark get rid of the excessive
  • A Bull Shark was once caught near Alton, Illinois swimming in the Amazon River at around 2485 miles away from the ocean.
  • The Oklahoma Aquarium in North America houses 10 Bull Sharks in a tank of around 500,000 gallons.

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FAQ

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Find the Answer Here

Are Bull Sharks dangerous?

Yes. Bull Sharks are considered to be one of the three most dangerous sharks in the world.

Are Bull Sharks edible?

No. Bull Sharks have a high amount of toxins that make it unfit for human consumption.

How big can a Bull Shark get?

The biggest Bull Shark ever caught weighed over 1,000 pounds and was about 10 feet long caught in Florida.

Are Bull Sharks aggressive?

Due to their territorial nature, Bull Sharks are quite aggressive in behavior.

Can Bull Sharks live in fresh water?

Yes. Bull Sharks are known to survive only in fresh water, specifically the younger ones. A female Bull Shark gives birth to its younger ones in freshwater. After reaching their age of maturity, the younger specimens travel to salt waters in search of their mates.

How many rows of teeth do Bull Sharks have?

A Bull Shark has 50 rows of teeth in its jaws, each row having about 7 teeth.

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