The bull shark is a fierce carnivore that inhabits the ocean near many of the world's tropical shores. It grows to between seven and 11 feet in length and can weigh up to 500 pounds. It has the reputation of being one of the most dangerous sharks to human beings.
The name "bull shark" derives both from the creature's short snout, as well as how it brutally confronts its prey. The diet of the bull shark consists of sea turtles, a variety of fish, other sharks, sea birds and dolphins. By means of adaptations in the kidneys and special glands present near the tail, bull sharks are able to survive not only in a salt-water environment, but also in fresh water—something that very few other shark species can sustain.
Outside of the mating season, bull sharks are mostly loners. Female sharks may produce young at any time of the year, depending on location.
Along with the great white shark and the tiger shark, the bull shark is one of the most aggressive and dangerous of all shark species. It frequents water near popular beaches and has even traveled some distance inland via fresh waterways, such as the Amazon and Mississippi Rivers. Despite this, shark attacks on humans are relatively rare.