Bull Shark

Common Name: Bull Shark

Type: Mammal

Family: Carcharhinidae

Range: Bull Sharks live in both the fresh and salt water. Off the Atlantic coast of the United States they are found from Massachusetts to the Gulf of Mexico and are common in the Gulf of Mexico and off southeastern Florida. Off the Pacific coast bull sharks are found from southern California (rare) to the Gulf of California and in the waters of Costa Rica.

Size: They become very heavy and large and these bull sharks can get length from 7 to 11.5 ft (2.1 to 3.4 m) although they rarely grow past 9 feet.

Weight: The bull Sharks are extremely large both in length and weight. Hey can get the weight from 200 to 500 lbs (90 to 230 kg)

Diet: They are carnivore and will eat almost anything they see, it include fish, dolphins, other sharks, sting rays, mollusk, turtles and even birds.

Average life span: This species lives at least 14 – 16 years. Bull sharks can grow to about to 11.5 feet in length.

Habitat: Bull Sharks can be found mainly in shallow coastal waters and is common in lagoons, bays, and river mouths. Bull sharks can also be found in fresh water that connects with salt water and have been caught in the Mississippi River as far upstream as Illinois and the coastal areas of Costa Rica.

Breeding/Reproduction: Bull Shark mate during early autumn and late summer. It takes many years to mature from 12 to 18 years in some species. After having a gestating period of 12 months, a Female Bull Shark might give birth to 4-10 young; the young are about 27.6 inches long and take almost 10 years to reach maturity. They reproduce only alternate years.

Bull sharks or the Carcharhinus leucas is a member of the Carcharhinidae family under the order of Carcharhiniformes. They called by different name in different countries. They are known as Nicaragua sharks or Zambezi sharks in Nicaragua and Africa respectively. Bull sharks are often seen cruising in the balmy and shoal bodies of water beside coasts and in rivers. In the abundant marine life of Costa Rica, They are mostly found in Concovado National Park as well Playa del Coco. Also they can be seen entering the Sirena River.

Bull sharks can adapt their whole body in fresh water but naturally live in salt water. This ability to enter fresh water is limited. Their blood needs to be at least as salty as salt water because of the build-up of urea and trimethylamine oxide. Bull sharks living in fresh water cut the concentrations of these solutes up to 50% and required to make 20 times much urine as those in salt water. Anyhow, bull sharks are unlike the river sharks (in the genus Glyphis) which are the true fresh water sharks. By being common around humans, bull sharks are the ones most likely to blame for the attacks reported near shore associated to their kind. Six up to nine feet is their growing range for length and can weigh approximately 500 pounds.

Their name is derived from their appearance: fat, extended, even snout; threatening and random nature. In Nicaragua and Africa, because of their frequent attacks, they are famous for feeding off of humans and their hazard to the people there. Competing with the Great White and Tiger Sharks for the most dangerous shark in South African waters, bull sharks are one of the top contenders.

The place Costa Rica, where the water is lukewarm carries the cloud of different species of fishes moving around the reefs and traveling live river. Big marine animals can be seen frequently near shore. At offshore islands, divers can witness incredible different kinds of sharks including the semi-friendly Bull Shark.

Costa Rica is a small tropical country between two oceans. One side borders the warm Caribbean; on the opposite side is the abundant Pacific. Both offer opportunities for exploration and adventure. The Pacific coastline is the more extensive of the two, stretching for almost 750 miles. In the northwest portion of the country is the Guanacaste Region, the center of Costa Rica mainland diving.

Numerous dive operators and coastal resorts are gathered around the resort communities of Playa del Coco and Flamingo Beach. Over 60 dive sites have been established in the area, the majority is within a 10 to 20 minute boat ride from the hotels or resort.

The aqua marine life biodiversity is incredible and guests often encounter several White tip Reef Sharks, frogfish, four species of moray eels, two species of angelfish and several giant reef fishes, all on the same dive. It is really fascinating, that is the assortment of species that take in Caribbean, Pacific coastal and tropical Pacific water, all are in the same area. The high point of any stopover to the Guanacaste Region is to dive the offshore islands, where you will encounter with big animal encounters a lot. The Bat Islands are a string of offshore rocky islets that jut out from Santa Rosa National Park, at the very northern reaches of the coastline. Here you will find a dive site populated by several friendly Pacific Bull Sharks.

The bull sharks have tendencies to be laid back, deep under the water unlike other sharks that often rise around the surface. They are ready to attack hard at any time.

These beasts of the water are the most common of the 43 species of elasmobranch in ten genera of four families. Stingrays and sawfishes are other species that may likely be seen in rivers along with bull sharks.

Bull sharks often hunt with a partner, but can do solo-hunting. Drifting through shoal waters, they can strike with a blink of an eye with force. They are mostly territorial in nature so intruders are in great danger.

Bump-and-bite technique is the common strike of bull sharks. Bull sharks indulge themselves on other bony fish and sharks, including their own. Turtles, birds, dolphins, terrestrial mammals, crustaceans and echinoderms are part of their sustenance.

Larger sharks like great white and tiger sharks and their predators but still humans are their number one threat. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed them as species near threatened due to habitat loss and hunting.

Corcovado National Park Costa Rica. The park protects various threatened plant and animal species, and is known to have about 124 species of mammals 117 species of reptiles and amphibians (2 crocodilians, 4 sea turtles); 66 freshwater fish species; and 70 species of marine crabs. Other nearby Costa Rica Parks include Piedras Blancas National Park, Carate Wildlife Refuge, Donald Peters Hayes Wildlife Refuge, and Terraba – Sierpe Wetlands having Bull Shark.

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