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15 Jaw-dropping Bull Sharks Facts You Didn’t Know

The bull shark season in Playa del Carmen typically begins around mid-November. Enthusiastic divers flock here annually to experience up-close encounters and personal interactions with these fascinating creatures. Consider these bull shark facts as a sneak peek to pique your interest before you meet them face to face.

Ready to be amazed? Let’s explore these 15 facts about bull sharks together.

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1. The Bull Shark Facts About Their Habitat

1. Global Presence

Bull sharks, known for their adaptability and resilience, have been a part of the ocean ecosystem for a staggering 420 million years. These formidable creatures primarily inhabit warm-water coastal regions, particularly flourishing in tropical environments.

2. Freshwater Dwellers

What’s truly remarkable about these boys is their ability to switch between freshwater and saltwater habitats.

As highlighted in the article Diving with Bull Sharks in Playa Del Carmen, Everything You Need to Know, some individuals have been discovered as far as 4000 km (2485 mi) inland, thriving in rivers and lakes. This emphasizes the incredible versatility of bull sharks, as they demonstrate an exceptional capacity to survive in freshwater environments.

They can do that thanks to their nifty osmoregulation process that keeps their internal systems in check.

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.

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2. Facts About Bull Sharks’ Body

3.Fast and powerful

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.

4. New teeth constantly

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.

5. More than skin, a tuned camouflage

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’s 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.

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3. Facts About the Bull Sharks: Their Sensory Abilities

6. Long distance electrical perception

It 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.

7. Magnificent sight, hearing and smell

The vision and smell of bull sharks reaches up to 100 meters / 328 ft.

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.

8. Adaptive Predators: Bull sharks exhibit a diverse diet, consuming a wide range of prey, including fish, rays, turtles, dolphins, and even other sharks.

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4. The Bull Shark Facts About Their Reproduction

9. Lonely fish

Bull sharks rarely come together, except to mate.

10. No too much maternal care

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.

Offspring are usually born in the spring or summer, except in warm climates where young may be born year-round.

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5. Other Bull Sharks Interesting Facts

11. On top of the food chain 

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.

12. Defensive vomiting

They can wake up predators by vomiting

13. We are their greatest threat

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.

14. Adaptive predators

Bull sharks exhibit a diverse diet, consuming a wide range of prey, including fish, rays, turtles, dolphins, and even other sharks

15. They are not hungry if they don’t want to.

They control the speed they digest; If there is no food, they digest more slowly, if there is excess, they speed up.

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!