(Müller and Henle, 1839)
|Range of bull shark|
The Bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas), also known as the Zambezi Shark, is a species of shark found mainly in warm, shallow waters in rivers and along coasts. They are found in saltwater and freshwater, and can travel far up rivers. Bull Sharks are not really true freshwater sharks, but they can survive in freshwater.
Female Bull Sharks are larger than males. When they are born they are around 81 cm (2.66 ft) long. Adults females are about 2.4 meters (7.9 ft) long and weigh around 130 kg (290 Ib), while males are 2.25 meters (7.4 ft) long and weigh 95 kg (210 Ib). But some Bull Sharks that have been found have been 4 meters (13 ft) long, and weigh 575 kg (1,270 Ib). Their belly is white in color, the top of them is gray and they have small eyes. They get the name "Bull Shark" because they have a stocky shaped body, a flat snout, and are aggressive, just like a bull.
The bull shark is found close to shore and can live for a while in fresh water, frequenting estuaries, rivers and lakes. It has been found up to 1,750 miles (2800 km) up the Mississippi River in the USA and 2,500 miles (4000 km) up the Amazon River in Peru. It has been found in Lake Nicaragua (Central America) and the Zambezi River (Africa). Many people believe this is most dangerous shark in the world. Sharks are being found in Lake Miniatare in the state of Nebraska.
Bull sharks are viviparous, meaning they give live birth. Litters of 1 to 13 pups are common after a gestation period of about one year. Pups are about 28 inches (70 cm) long at birth. Very young bull sharks are frequently found in protected bays near the mouths of rivers, in briny water.
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