Most of us have always thought that the most dangerous sharks of the world were the great white or the tiger sharks... but they are not. The most dangerous specie is the bull shark.
Learn why these coastal sharks are considered one of the world's most dangerous. Find out how bull sharks can survive even in freshwater.
Bull Shark - Photo: National Geographic
Great white shark - Photo: National Geographic
Tiger shark - Photo: National Geographic
Among the most likely sharks to attack humans, bull sharks favor shallow coastal waters—the same places humans prefer to swim.
ABOUT THE BULL SHARKS
COMMON NAME: Bull Shark
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Carcharhinus leucas
GROUP NAME: School, shoal
AVERAGE LIFE SPAN IN THE WILD: 16 years
SIZE: 7 to 11.5 ft
WEIGHT: 200 to 500 lbs
Bull sharks are aggressive, common, and usually live near high-population areas like tropical shorelines. They are not bothered by brackish and freshwater, and even venture far inland via rivers and tributaries.
Because of these characteristics, many experts consider bull sharks to be the most dangerous sharks in the world. Historically, they are joined by their more famous cousins, great whites and tiger sharks, as the three species most likely to attack humans.
Bull sharks get their name from their short, blunt snout, as well as their pugnacious disposition and a tendency to head-butt their prey before attacking. They are medium-size sharks, with thick, stout bodies and long pectoral fins. They are gray on top and white below, and the fins have dark tips, particularly on young bull sharks.
They are found cruising the shallow, warm waters of all the world’s oceans. Fast, agile predators, they will eat almost anything they see, including fish, dolphins, and even other sharks. Humans are not, per se, on their menus. However, they frequent the turbid waters of estuaries and bays, and often attack people inadvertently or out of curiosity.
Threats to Survival
Bull sharks are fished widely for their meat, hides, and oils, and their numbers are likely shrinking. One study has found that their average lengths have declined significantly over the past few decades.
Among the animals of the world, sharks are still the most feared by humans.
Yet, statistically speaking, there are only six fatalities that are attributed to unprovoked shark attacks worldwide, each year. On average, there are 16 shark attacks per year in the United States, with one fatality every two years. By contrast about 100 million sharks and rays are killed each year by fisheries. There is nothing to panic about!
But in regards to sharks and us, it show that sharks do like the hunt and hangout in the same shallow water we flock to every summer. but ultimately though, it does is all good to remember that we are more likely to get strucked by a lightning, than bit by a shark.
DID YOU KNOW?
Bull sharks have been seen leaping up river rapids, salmon-like, to reach inland lakes.
Here’s a short documentary from National Geographic that show a bull shark in his natural area and the way he's hunting , 2012.
Source: National Geographic, may 2011.