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Bull Shark
Carcharhinus leucas

If you have more questions about this species or any other species of shark, ask the Shark Wrangler!
He has handled live sharks of every species on this site except blues and makos.

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This fascinating species roams warm and cool waters around the globe.  They are robust beautiful sharks.  They are documented as attacking humans.

Their broad, short snout is a very easy way to identify this species.  They tend to swim more sluggishly than other carcharhinids, occasionally forming packs to feed.  Nevertheless, bulls tend to be loners (as demonstrated by collection evidence and personal observation). 

Their attacks are brutish, though this species lacks the size of a Tiger shark.  They may stalk a prey they feel overmatched against for a while until they feel bold.  They may even toss aside caution and simply attack a prey item of any size.   Bulls tend to make a brief attack on large prey, then swim in range of the prey until it is dead.  In this way they may feed safely.  They will also attack prey larger than themselves.  One diver reported being attacked by a four foot animal that noticed his spearfishing activities (anecdotal only).  When feeding in a pack, they can frenzy and make a group fatal attack on the prey.

The most remarkable thing, in many researchers' minds, is the bull shark's ability to function in totally fresh water.  Bull sharks have traveled hundreds of miles up rivers to feed.  They are a glowing example of sharks' adaptability to varying salinity.  They have been accused of attacks far inside New England rivers after the turn of the century.

Bulls feed on smaller sharks and most other marine life.  They will feed on carcasses as well as live prey.  Conservation of effort and hunter safety are very important in the wild and are notable in this species.   More information on the species can be found online or if you are really interested seek out a public aquarium displaying them.

Bulls may grow to more than 10 feet and can weigh more than 500 lb.   However, they never grow to sizes of 16 - 20 feet as do hammerheads and tigers (fortunately for humans!).

Adult bulls are not suitable for collection and transportation to an aquarium.  Not only are they dangerous to handle, their respiratory needs make them vulnerable during transport.  Pups may be transported and can grow out in captivity.  They are still difficult to transport, but, can survive handling.


bull_jaws.jpg (21591 bytes)
from 7  foot shark

Jaws tend to be around 11" in width for 6 foot animals.  They can be widths of 20" or slightly more in rarer cases.   Teeth are classically triangular in shape with good size.