Bull shark

Fearless and formidable, these aggressive predators command respect in the waters they roam

Albert kok


Bull shark

EXEWCRENVUNTLCDDNE

Fearless and formidable, these aggressive predators command respect in the waters they roam

Population

Indeed, they are among the most versatile and formidable predators in the aquatic world, notable for their stocky figure, aggressive reputation, and remarkable physiological adaptations. Their stout appearance, reminiscent of a bull, and infamous tenacious behavior inspired their name.

Adult bull sharks typically measure between 2.1 to 3.4 meters (7 to 11 feet) in length and weigh between 90 to 230 kilograms (200 to 500 pounds), although larger specimens have been recorded. With a gray top and a white underside, they possess a counter-shaded body that camouflages them from both prey below and threats above.

Equipped with a highly tuned sensory system, bull sharks can detect minute electrical fields emitted by other creatures, making them exceptionally skilled hunters. This sense is facilitated by the ampullae of Lorenzini, a network of jelly-filled pores that provides them with a sixth sense to locate prey.

One of the bull shark’s most intriguing characteristics is their ability to tolerate freshwater, a trait uncommon among sharks. This is achieved through a process known as osmoregulation, where they adjust their internal salt concentration to match their environment. Bull sharks have been found upriver thousands of kilometers from the ocean, such as in the Amazon and Mississippi Rivers and even in Lake Nicaragua, leading to myths of freshwater sharks in these regions.

Bull sharks are known for their aggressive nature, a trait that has garnered them an undeserved reputation as being highly dangerous to humans. While they are responsible for a number of attacks on humans, these incidents are typically cases of mistaken identity or defensive behavior rather than predatory.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Atlantic Ocean
2020
Indian Ocean
2020
Pacific Ocean
2020
American Samoa
2020
Angola
2020
Anguilla
2020
Antigua & Barbuda
2020
Aruba
2020
Australia
2020
Bahamas
2020
Bahrain
2020
Bangladesh
2020
Barbados
2020
Belize
2020
Benin
2020
Bonaire
2020
Brazil
2020
British Virgin Is.
2020
Brunei
2020
Cambodia
2020
Cameroon
2020
Cayman Islands
2020
China
2020
Colombia
2020
Congo-Brazzaville
2020
Costa Rica
2020
Cuba
2020
Curaçao
2020
Côte D’ivoire
2020
DR Congo (Kinshasa)
2020
Djibouti
2020
Dominica
2020
Dominican Republic
2020
Ecuador
2020
El Salvador
2020
Equatorial Guinea
2020
Fiji
2020
French Guiana
2020
French Polynesia
2020
Gabon
2020
Gambia
2020
Ghana
2020
Grenada
2020
Guadeloupe
2020
Guatemala
2020
Guinea-Bissau
2020
Guinea
2020
Guyana
2020
Haiti
2020
Honduras
2020
India
2020
Indonesia
2020
Iran
2020
Iraq
2020
Jamaica
2020
Kenya
2020
Kuwait
2020
Liberia
2020
Madagascar
2020
Malawi
2020
Malaysia
2020
Maldives
2020
Martinique
2020
Mauritania
2020
Mauritius
2020
Possibly Extant
Mexico
2020
Montserrat
2020
Morocco
2020
Mozambique
2020
Myanmar
2020
Namibia
2020
New Caledonia
2020
Nicaragua
2020
Nigeria
2020
Oman
2020
Pakistan
2020
Panama
2020
Papua New Guinea
2020
Peru
2020
Philippines
2020
Portugal
2020
Azores
Puerto Rico
2020
Qatar
2020
Réunion
2020
Saint Lucia
2020
Saint Martin
2020
French Part
Saint Vincent
2020
Samoa
2020
Saudi Arabia
2020
Senegal
2020
Seychelles
2020
Sierra Leone
2020
Sint Maarten
2020
Dutch Part
Somalia
2020
South Africa
2020
Spain
2020
Sri Lanka
2020
St. Kitts & Nevis
2020
Suriname
2020
São Tomé & Príncipe
2020
Taiwan
2020
Tanzania
2020
Thailand
2020
Togo
2020
Tonga
2020
Trinidad & Tobago
2020
Turks & Caicos
2020
UAE
2020
US Virgin Islands
2020
United States
2020
Venezuela
2020
Vietnam
2020
Yemen
2020
Zimbabwe
2020

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Get to know me

Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No