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Impressive & Agressive: Facts about Bull sharks

Aug 29, 2022
5 min read

Dušan Milosavljević


Bull shark, an amazing animal capable of surviving in both salt & fresh water. They can be found all over the world, inhabiting coastal waters of warm oceans, rivers & lakes. Known to be very aggressive, larger specimens of this species are responsible for most shark attacks that happen near the shore.

Two bull sharks in dark blue murky water with sandy bottom

As a short disclaimer, shark attacks are an insanely rare ocassion and you should not take this as a reason to be scared of going into the water or calling for shark culling. I'm not saying to go and pet them either though :)

How big do bull sharks get?

Larger females are usually up to 2.5m(7ft) long, weighing up to 130kg(300lbs). Largest specimens can reach the length of up to 4m (13ft) and weigh as much as 350kg(770lbs) which is a huge shark. They are also pretty fast swimmers, reaching bolting speeds of 40km/h (25mph).

Huge Bull shark caught by researchers

What do bull sharks eat?

Fish, birds, turtles, stingrays, dolphins, land animals and pretty much whatever they can find. As most other shark species, they are opportunistic animals and will also eat other sharks, including other bull sharks.

Bull sharks prefer hunting in murky water, making it much easier for them to approach their prey. I've talked about this in our post about Reunion Island and it's shark problem, where it is believed that the sediment dropping down from an island's volcano is creating a perfect hunting ground for Bull sharks.

Do bull sharks attack humans?

We have collected data on 192 bull shark interactions with humans. Out of those, 41 attack has unfortunately been fatal. This means that the Bull Shark as the third shark with most attacks on humans, right behind the Great White & Tiger sharks.

3 shark species with most attacks

Are bull sharks dangerous?

Thanks to a couple of factors, Bulls just might be the most dangerous species of sharks from human perspective. Since they are often found in shallow waters, your chance of encountering one is much higher when compared to say an Oceanic Whitetip shark that prefers open seas. It doesn't help that they are also a pretty territorial species and that they can swim in rivers & lakes.

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Be honest, when was the last time you watched a decent shark movie?