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Bull sharks are common in warm, shallow waters along coasts throughout the world. They are known for their particularly unpredictable behavior, as they often travel up rivers and can pose a large threat to those who venture in to the water there.


 


What's in a Name? The name, "bull shark", comes from its stocky shape and broad, flat snout. In India, the bull shark is often called the Sunderbans or Ganges shark and is considered a delicacy for Bengali fish curries. In Africa it is often called Zambezi River Shark or just Zambi.

Weights and Measures: Bull sharks are large and stout. The males of this species can reach 2.1 m (6.9 ft) long and weigh 90 kg (198.4 lb). The females can be much larger, 3.5 m (11.5 ft) long and 230 kg (507 lb). It is wider in comparison to its length than most sharks. It is gray on top and is white below. The second dorsal fin is smaller than the first.


Where in the World? The Bull shark is common in coastal areas of warm oceans, in rivers and lakes, both in salt and fresh water. In the Atlantic it is found from Massachusetts to South Brazil and from Morocco to Angola, in the Pacific it is found from South Africa to Kenya, India, Vietnam to Australia and from Baja California to Ecuador. They are also found in the central Amazon River, and have been recorded as far up the Mississippi River as Illinois. They are also found in the fresh water Lake Nicaragua and the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers of West Bengal and Assam in eastern India and adjoining Bangladesh. It is found from the surface to a depth of at least 150 meters, but most commonly it does not swim deeper than 30 meters.

Not So Picky: The bull shark has a omnivorous diet which means that it will eat almost anything that comes in its way, like fishes (including other sharks), rays, dolphins, turtles, birds, molluscs, echinoderms, crustaceans and even terrestrial mammals.

Safe... usually: Bull sharks are mostly sluggish, solitary animals who cruise through shallow waters. They seem not to view humans as prey under normal conditions, but will bite out of curiosity or when threatened, or in water where visibility is poor and a human might easily be mistaken for a prey animal.

Testosterone & ATemper:Despite their apparent docility at times, they are capable of surprising bursts of speed, and can be highly aggressive. Often, they will charge their prey in an attempt to knock out the victim, hence the name "bull". Their aggression is fueled by testosterone, the bull shark having one of the highest testosterone levels of all animals. Like all sharks, their behavior is poorly understood and can seem unpredictable.

Birds and Bees: Breeding takes place in the summer, often in brackish water of river mouths. After a gestation of about a year, bull sharks give birth to as many as 13 live young (they are viviparous). The young are about 70 cm long at birth and take as long as 10 years to reach maturity.

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 Kingdom: Animalia

 Phylum: Chordata

 Class: Chondrichthyes

 Subclass: Elasmobranchii

 Order: Carcharhiniformes

 Family: Carcharhinidae

 Genus: Carcharhinus

 Species: Leucas