Bull Shark
Carcharhinus Leucas

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
SubPhylum Vertebrata
Class Chondrichthyes
Subclass Elasmobranchii
Order Carcharhiniformes
Family Carcharhinidae
Genus Carcharhinus
Species Leucas

With the great white shark and the tiger shark, the bull shark is one of three kinds of shark which thinks humans are good food. For a shark, the bull shark is relatively small, averaging about 7-10 feet long and weighing about 400-500 pounds. It's grey in color with a white belly and has two beady eyes. The bull shark so named because it has a small snout which is more wide than long, which I guess makes some people think of a bull.

The bull shark is very aggressive and vicious, even by shark standards, and tends to attack just about anything. Nearly blind, it hunts by sense of smell or just by bumping into stuff to see if it feels tasty. All this is compounded by the fact that the bull shark often frequents shallow and fresh water. A very common shark, it can be found not only in oceans, but bays and rivers all over the world. Attacks and sightings have been recorded in the Mississippi, the Ganges, the Zambezi, and the Amazon rivers. Lake Nicaragua was thought to harbor a new species of freshwater shark until it was discovered that they were merely Caribbean bull shark fighting the rapids of the San Juan River and going upstream. Many experts think that the "Jersey Man-Eater" of 1916, which killed several in the Mattawan Creek and was the inspiration for Jaws, was a bull shark.

A bull shark was what attacked 8-year old Jessie Arbogast and ripped off his right arm in the Florida Panhandle in July 2001. Last summer, a Tampa business man named Thadeus Kubinski was killed by a bull shark after jumping off his backyard dock. The bull shark features in countless other gruesome attacks as well.

The bull shark, because it can be found all over the world, is called by a multitude of names, including the cub shark, Ganges shark, Nicaragua shark, river shark, shovelnose shark, slipway grey shark, squarenose shark, Swan River shark, and Van Rooyen's shark.

Sources: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/sharks/species/Bullshark.shtml; http://slate.msn.com/gist/01-07-17/gist.asp

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