Bull Sharks

10 facts about these incredible creatures

Bull Shark diving Playa del Carmen



Bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) are the species that inhabit the sea and rivers and have the property that their powerful jaws provide the deadliest bite among sharks. They are the most dangerous sharks in the world, according to many experts. This is because they’re an aggressive species of shark, and they tend to hunt in waters where people often swim: along tropical shorelines.

Let’s learn some facts about Playa del Carmen´s famous shark, that for many years have attracted people from all over the world to the area.

What is a bull shark?

  • COMMON NAME: Bull Shark
  • SCIENTIFIC NAME: Carcharhinus leucas
  • TYPE: Fish
  • SIZE: 7 to 11.5 feet
  • WEIGHT: 200 to 500 pounds

Bull sharks info

But bull sharks have developed special adaptations—the way their kidneys function and special glands near their tails—that help them keep salt in their bodies even when they’re in freshwater. Scientists are still studying these sharks to figure out why they developed this unusual ability.

Interesting facts about bull sharks

  1. It´s one of 43 shark species that can live in both seawater and freshwater, which means they can be found even in rivers and lakes. They have been reported as far inland as 2220 miles (3700 km) up the Amazon River in Peru and more than 1800 miles (3000km) up the Mississippi River in Illinois.
  2. Bull sharks are grey on top and white underneath. They have a small, short snout and small eyes.
  3. They are known as Carcharhinus Leucas in the scientific world, but also depending on its whereabouts: Bull Shark, Zambezi Shark, Nicaragua Shark, or Ganges River Shark.
  4. They are named this way because they have blunt snouts and habit to attack the prey by hitting it first, using the heads (just like bulls).
  5. Bull sharks are active not only during the night but also during the day.
  6. Females are larger than males! A typical female bull shark is 2.4 m (7.9 ft) long and weighs 130 kg (290 lb), while a male averages 2.25 m (7.4 ft) and 95 kg (209 lb).
  7. The bigger size of females is the reason why they have a longer lifespan than males. Females can live for about 16 years, and males up to 12 years.
  8. It takes about 10 years until they reach maturity.
  9. They are generally found in water less than 100ft (30m) deep.
  10. Bull sharks eat almost everything! Their diet mainly consists of bony fish, invertebrates, sea turtles, birds and dolphins.

Bull Sharks

If you want to try another unique experience, check spearfishing in Playa del Carmen.