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Bull shark

Bull shark
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Scientific classification
Binomial name
Carcharhinus leucas

Bull sharks are common in warm, shallow waters along coasts throughout the world. These sharks are responsible for many of the shark attacks on humans. Although bull sharks can frequently be found some distance inland by swimming up rivers, and as such are sometimes considered freshwater sharks, they are not truely freshwater unlike the river sharks of the genus Glyphis.

Table of contents
1 Description
2 Behavior
3 Reproduction


The males of this species can reach 2.1 m long and weigh 90 kg. The females can be much larger, 3.5 m long and 230 kg. The name "bull shark" comes from the fact that its snout is short and wide compared to other sharks.


Bull sharks are solitary animals. They eat a wide variety of things: fish, sharks, rays, turtles, birds, mollusks, dolphins, and sometimes even humans. They are common in shallow coastal water (usually less than 30 meters deep) and some rivers and lakes. Unusually for sharks, they can live and breed in freshwater, such as Lake Nicaragua and the Amazon.


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 ovoviviparous). The young are about 70 cm long at birth and take as long as 10 years to reach maturity, if they are not eaten by other sharks first.