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We are in the middle of the bull shark season in Playa del Carmen so, we cannot set them aside. In this article we review the 5 most surprising bull shark facts. The goal is to learn more about these incredible animals, change preconceptions and why not, maybe you dare to come and meet them. Are you ready to gape? Let’s discover together these 5 bull sharks facts!
1.Bull Sharks Facts Regarding Their Habitat
Bull sharks have inhabited the oceans for 420 million years. They can be found in warm-water coastal areas with a special presence in the tropics. These sharks can swim in a depth range that goes from 0 to 100 m. / 328 ft. As we already said in the article Diving with Bull Sharks in Playa Del Carmen, Everything You Need to Know, some specimens were found 4000 km./ 2485 mi. inland, in rivers and lakes. Yes, bull sharks can live in freshwater too.
How Is It Possible? Osmoregulation is another bull sharks fact.
Osmoregulation is a fish process to regulate their salt and water flows. This phenomenon helps them to keep their internal condition stable, regardless of the water in which they swim. The kidneys, liver, and rectal gland of bull sharks can gradually adjust to the salinity of the water in which they are. When they move into fresh water, their kidneys process much more fluid, barely getting rid of the salt it contains. They eliminate the extra urea by the urine.
2. Other bull sharks facts about its body
Sharks live an average of 16 years, they can measure from 21 m / 70 ft to 3.4 m / 11.5 ft, and the weight of a specimen ranges from 90 kg / 160 lb to 230 kg / 500 lb. Still, they can swim at a speed of 18 km per hour / 11 m per hour.
Their skeleton is made of cartilage, but not their teeth. An incredible bull shark fact is they change their teeth continuously. On average, they lose 30,000 pieces in their lifetime. It is not necessary to say bull sharks are carnivorous.
The skin of sharks is a masterpiece of nature. On the one hand, we have to highlight its color. Bull sharks are dark on top, which helps them camouflage themselves in the darkness of deep water when viewed from above. The same is true if you look at them from below. The skin on their lower body is much lighter. It helps them go unnoticed due to the water lighting.
On the other hand, bull sharks have placoid scales, also called dermal denticles. These scales have a hydrodynamic shape that allows them to swim faster.
3. Facts About Bull Sharks: What Are Their Sensory Abilities?
According to scientific studies, bull sharks have:
a) Electrical perception, which allows them to detect prey within a 50 cm / 20 in radius. Without needing to see them.
The head of bull sharks is full of electroreceptors known as “Lorenzini Ampoules”. Electrical perception helps them to detect predators, social interaction, and it works as a navigation tool.
b) The vision and smell of bull sharks reaches up to 100 meters / 328 ft.
c) The hearing of bull sharks is extremely sensitive. They can distinguish sounds more than 1km / 0.62 miles away.
Their hearing organs are located behind their eyes, and they also play a role in helping their balance. They help the shark determine its position in the water.
4. Bull Sharks Reproduction
Bull sharks are viviparous, so the young develop within the mother until they are born. The gestation period lasts between 10 and 11 months, and from 1 to 3 young can be born in a birth. It may seem like a long gestation period, but the young need to be fully capable of surviving alone. Contrary to what other sharks do, bull shark mothers do not keep their young close by, so they will thrive on their own in calm waters. Bull sharks are a slowly reproducing species because a female can only procreate every two years.
5. Bull Sharks facts: Do They Have Any Predator?
Bull sharks are at the top of the food chain, so only larger and more powerful animals can threaten them. In general, they are other sharks such as the white shark and the tiger shark.
However, the greatest threat for bull sharks is human. Bull sharks are not in danger, but they are vulnerable to fishing. Commercially they are appreciated to sell their skin, meat, liver oil, and especially their fins.
We do not need to say they are also affected by their habitat modifications and environmental changes. Now that you know all these bull shark facts, tell us, do you want to see them in person? Ask us how!