Fish and other aquatic creatures

Shark-billed shark is dangerous to man, even in the fresh water of rivers

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The gray bull shark is a completely unique creature. More than half of all human victims attributed to predator attacks are attributed to this shark. And this statement is quite reasonable.
Extremely aggressive, having a very wide habitat, closely in contact with densely populated areas, omnivorous and armed with powerful teeth that resemble tiger shark teeth, the gray bull shark is rightfully included in the top three most dangerous for man-eating cannibal sharks.

The real number of stupid shark attacks on people is noticeably different from official statistics. The main reason is the habitat of this species mainly in the coastal areas of the Third World countries, east and west of Africa, India and other places where shark attacks are often not given serious attention and cases are not recorded. In addition, a stupid shark is not as easy to identify as a white or tiger shark, so many of their attacks can still be attacked by a "shark of an unknown species."

The danger of this shark for humans is aggravated by the fact that it feels rather well in the fresh waters of rivers and is a frequent visitor to fresh water bodies associated with the sea. She was also greeted at the mouths of many rivers that flow into the seas of the Atlantic, in the rivers of Australia, North and South America; she lives even in some fresh lakes. Many cases have been recorded of these sharks in the rivers of the United States, India, Iran and many other places.
Gills and rectal gland are the instruments with which this species is able to control the osmoregulation of its body, easily adapting to desalination. There are cases when bull sharks were caught 4000 km upstream of the Amazon. Not surprisingly, there are recorded evidence of the presence of bull sharks in the rivers of New Jersey, Illinois, downtown New York and other major cities.

One of the varieties of gray bull sharks (Сarcharhinus nicaraguensis, Gill & Bransford) is a permanent inhabitant of Lake Nicaragua.
Lake Nicaragua is one of the largest lakes in Central America. Its only connection with the Caribbean Sea is the rapids, about 200 km long, the San Juan River. The sharks inhabiting it are the only known sharks adapted for permanent living in fresh waters. They are identified with the gray bovine shark - many scientists even refuse to recognize the species. Сarcharhinus nicaraguensis, arguing that the Nicaraguan shark is one of the gray bovine species. The shark of Lake Nicaragua reaches a rather large size - the average size is about 2.5 m, but it can grow to 3.5 meters or more.

The habitat of the gray bull shark and its varieties

Gray bovine sharks are encountered, in particular, in the Panama Canal, where the waters of numerous lakes are mixed with the waters of two oceans. We saw and even caught a bull gray shark in Lake Isabal, in Guatemala, as well as in the Atchafalaya River in Louisiana, 250 kilometers from the sea.
They even say that it was seen in the depths of the mainland in the canals that cut south and central Florida, but this still needs proof.
In India, South China and the countries of the Indochina region, this shark is very afraid and revered. A species of gray bull shark that lives in the mouth of the Ganges river is used to eating human meat - according to local customs, the corpses of people of higher castes are lowered into the sacred waters of the Ganges, where bloodthirsty predators wait for them to eat easily accessible foods.

Australia is often featured in bull shark attacks. Voracious and extremely aggressive predators attack divers in coastal waters and swim along river beds deep into the mainland. More recently, a bull shark attacked a race horse in Queensland, Australia. Strength, speed and "firm reception" - a header with the subsequent bite - allow this monster to cope even with a larger mammal than a human.

Many legends are dedicated to these fish. In some villages of South Africa, bull sharks are considered sacred.

Scientists consider males of stupid sharks the most aggressive animals of our planet. This opinion is based on the fact that the body of male bull sharks produces the largest amount of the male hormone - testosterone, which is responsible for this character trait of living creatures. The opinion of scientists is confirmed by practical observations - prone to sudden and seemingly unreasonable outbursts of rage, stupid predators can rush at anything that moves - even the screws of boat engines.
The snout of these predators has a blunt oblate shape, which increases maneuverability, and a full mouth of sharp, slightly jagged teeth provides a reliable weapon. By the way, the shark is already born with a large number of teeth, and if a tooth drops out in front, the new one does not grow, and the one growing behind the drop just moves forward. Only the back row is constantly growing, filling the jaws of fish with a new deadly weapon.

The bull shark is an extremely strong and fast animal. Escape from the terrible monster attacking the swimmer is almost impossible - she continues to torment her victim, not paying attention to the blows and the pain caused. In the heat of rage, these predators can pounce even on the screw of the outboard motor!
The behavior of bovine, like many other sharks, is usually impossible to predict. They can swim side by side for a long time, and then suddenly and violently attack a swimmer. This attack can be a simple research bite, as well as a clear attack. Very jealously of these predators protect the borders of their possessions - the intruder who invaded their site will surely be attacked.

There is no way to completely eliminate the possibility of a shark attacking while a person is in the water, but some precautions can be taken to reduce the risk.
Beware of turbid waters near the confluence of the river into the ocean: in conditions of poor visibility, the bull shark is prone to attack any large objects, especially without understanding.
It is not recommended to enter the water after heavy rains: streams of water can wash organics into the sea, which will attract the attention of sharks. There have been cases of brutal bull shark attacks on wading people.
The victim is sometimes deceived by the apparent slowness and slowness of the 4-meter monster, but bull sharks are capable of attacking an unlucky bather or a pet approaching the water at lightning speed. Persistent and hardy predator develops great speed in pursuit of potential prey.

So, the gray bull shark, with its disgusting reputation as an aggressor and cannibal, can be found in the waters of all the oceans (except, perhaps, the Arctic) and many fresh water bodies.
Consider a closer look at these phenomenal predators.

These are relatively large fish having a massive body of a streamlined spindle-shaped form. The head is large, the blunt snout. Eyes are equipped with a blink membrane, as with all members of the family of abyssal sharks. Anterior dorsal fin large, posterior considerably smaller. Tail fin with an elongated upper lobe having a notch at the tip. The last gill slit is located above the beginning of the base of the pectoral fin. The teeth have the appearance of triangular plates with a serrate edge. The teeth of the lower jaw are narrower than the upper. A distinctive feature of the form of the body of a gray bull shark is the peculiar shape of the head with a blunt snout, for which the predator was called the "blunt-headed".

Females reach a length of 4 meters, males are smaller - their length does not exceed 2.5 m.
The maximum documented weight of the caught bull shark was 316.5 kg.
Body color is not striking - gray back smoothly turning on the sides into a light belly. There are no spots or patterns on the body and fins. Sometimes the edges of the fins are somewhat darker than the general background.
Bull sharks can change the intensity of body color depending on the light, so they are hardly noticeable even in shallow water. They are especially dangerous in muddy water. Meeting with her can end in tears: the rapid and aggressive predator is inclined to attack any large creature that has fallen into the field of action of its senses.

Stupid sharks reproduce by live birth, as are all gray sharks. The female bears fertilized eggs in her own body, like a living incubator.
From May to August, females of bull gray sharks converge at the mouth of the Mississippi and produce sharks there in North America. They lazily wander through the shallow water near the marinas.
About a dozen calves are reproduced on the light, which immediately begin an independent life - the female does not take care of the offspring. Juveniles stay for a long time near the mouths of rivers, where it is easier to get food and hide from enemies. At the age of 3-4 years young sharks become sexually mature and are able to reproduce offspring.
On average, a bull shark lives 27-28 years.

English-speaking peoples call this predator Bullshark, i.e. bull shark
Hispanic name: Tiburon cabeza de batea (i.e. shark with head like a tub) In Russian, the common name is often used by a gray bull or stupor-headed shark.
This creature got its strange name for the fish for its ferocious and unpredictable temper, and for its ability to live and hunt in fresh waters: when shepherds drove the herd to drink, the bull sharks often dragged the bulls into the dark waters.
It makes an impression of a somewhat lazy and relatively slowly swimming shark, but this impression is very deceptive. In pursuit of prey, a predator can instantly develop a great speed and becomes very mobile.

The gray bull shark is a marine scavenger, like the tiger shark. Usually they swim slowly and lazily around their area, looking for prey. However, when the application of force and speed is required, in order to overtake the victim, they are capable of sprinting.
Extreme endurance and low susceptibility to pain provided the bull sharks with a reputation of exceptionally viable predators. There have been cases when already gutted bull sharks released into the water, tasted their own giblets.
Adult individuals are not picky about food. All sharks of this group are omnivorous and along with live prey (coastal fish and crabs) devour any garbage. Their diet, as a rule - dolphins, small and large invertebrates, bony fish and young cartilage fish.
Do not shun bull sharks carrion, representatives of their own species and, the most terrible, - man.
Most often, the victims of these fish were lonely bathers, and bloodthirsty predators attacked in the morning or late twilight, and often at a shallow depth - 0.5 m - 1 m.

One of the most notorious cases of death from shark attacks, when 4 people died within a few days and one person was seriously injured, occurred in 1916 in the state of New Jersey, not far from New York. The alleged culprit of the attacks was managed to catch some time later with a network, and it was put on display to all who wished to see the bloodthirsty man-eating monster. It was a great white shark cub, barely two meters long.
There is no certainty that this predator was guilty of attacking people. On the contrary, most experts are inclined to believe that a series of attacks in New Jersey could be performed only by a gray bull shark, as they occurred in a freshwater river.
The terrible tragedy served as the basis of the plot for the famous horror film about the shark “Jaws,” the first of its kind film about the danger of sharks. However, in the film the main character was represented by a huge big white shark.

The gray bull shark, together with other aggressive marine predators, is at the top of the food pyramid and has almost no enemies among other marine predators, except for larger counterparts and killer whales.
The biggest threat to these fish are people who eat meat and fins for food, often killing and just like that - because they are considered dangerous animals. The blunt-headed shark is one of the three most dangerous sharks for humans, they are intensively exterminated in places where human activity in the sea or rivers is high enough to withstand the brutal attacks of these predators.
But the uncontrolled destruction of an important link in the biosphere of the planet, without any doubt, will affect the general development of living beings, both at sea and on land. Only relatively recently, has man understood the importance of each member of the community of organisms for the flora and fauna of the planet.
It is necessary to look for ways of safe coexistence with sharks, and not to declare them enemies of humanity.

Here is a video about a gray bull shark.

Collar sharks are quite harmless predators

Danger to people

It was the blunt shark that inspired Peter Benchley to create the Jaws, the well-known stories about the shark's attack on humans. The events that contributed to the horror adaptation took place in 1916, when many shark attacks on humans were observed in New Jersey. There are no doubts that these were just stupid sharks, because all the cases occurred in fresh waters, where white, tiger or long-winged congeners do not swim to people. And in 2009, bull sharks hunted people off the coast of Sydney, sowing a real panic there.

To avoid meeting with this predator, you should not swim deep and swim alone. There have been no cases when these sharks attacked groups of people, they prefer a single prey. They also hunt at dusk - at dusk or dawn, so choose clear waters during the daytime for swimming.

This is really a dangerous predator, and in order not to become its victim, follow the safety rules when swimming in the area where, according to the information, the bull shark dwells.

Stony sharks live in rivers.

Habitat - the Atlantic Ocean, the coast of Indicotaya, the coast of Australia, North and South America.

A distinctive feature of the residence: they are met not only in the mouths of the rivers, but also upstream. Thus, the stupid shark can overcome up to 4,000 km in fresh water (for example, the Amazon, Mississippi, and Ganges rivers).

This is the only species of shark that constantly lives in lakes, in particular in Lake Nicaragua. The ability to live in fresh water is associated with the physiological peculiarity of the species - the gills and rectal gland of fish can accumulate and then release salt.

The stupid sharks are referred to as the so-called sea scavengers, as they can eat any garbage and carrion. The main food rations are bony fish and small sharks, including members of their own species, as well as turtles, marine and terrestrial mammals, crustaceans, echinoderms and rays.

In the holy river Ganges, these dangerous sharks are addicted to eating human corpses, where for religious reasons the deceased is released with honors down the river.

Watch video: River Monsters - Freshwater Shark

Why is a shark called a bull?

The bull shark got its name just for the way of hunting: it attacks the cattle, which the shepherds drive to the watering place, mainly using their “trademark” header - it instantly knocks the victim down.

Alas, people are often victims.

Watch the video - Tuporila shark attacked a man:

During the attack, the stupid sharks use the push and bite technique. After the initial contact, they continue to bite and fray the victim until she loses the ability to escape.

Especially well and with impunity, stupid sharks feel in the muddy water, where it is more difficult for the prey to notice the approach of the predator, and quite often attack lonely travelers crossing the river ford.

But do not relax in clear water: the ability of sharks of this species to "merge" with the bottom helps them to be invisible and in shallow water.

Therefore, the local population already knows the basic rules of behavior: first, do not go into the water alone, do not swim far, do not swim in muddy water, especially after heavy rains, do not go into the water at dawn and at sunset, so as not to become breakfast or dinner predator.

Secondly, the locals know that the external laziness and slowness of these predators is deceptive.
Rising up to the victim, the bull shark instantly assesses the situation, and then makes a swift, precise blow and makes a series of deadly bites.

As a rule, they hunt alone. Fleeing persecution, bull sharks are able to turn the stomach inside out, emptying its contents into the water. This distracting maneuver allows you to redirect the attention of the predator and escape from the pursuer.

Stupid shark attacks on people

The large size, powerful jaws, aggressive nature and the fact that stupid sharks are found in muddy water in shallow water and in rivers, make them the most dangerous shark species for humans, along with the white and tiger sharks.

It is believed that the stupid sharks were involved in a series of high-profile killings of vacationers off the coast of New Jersey in 1916, which inspired Peter Benchley to create the novel "Jaws".

A stupid shark killed an 18-year-old girl in Brazil:

The blunt-nosed shark is a target, its meat is eaten, and the liver and skin are also valued. In addition, these sharks come across as by-catch and are appreciated by amateur anglers.

Хищницы весьма живучи, и их можно содержать в крупных аквариумах.

Дайвинг с бычьими акулами в Мексике, кормление акул:

Описание тупорылой акулы

Ее также называют серой бычьей акулой, учитывая принадлежность к семейству и роду Серые акулы. Имя Bull shark (акула-бык) она получила из-за огромной тупой морды, а также за дурную привычку охотиться на бычков, пригоняемых пастухами на водопой.Hispanic peoples gave the predator the longest nickname - the shark with the head like a trough (Tiburon cabeza de batea). This type of shark was introduced to the public in 1839, thanks to the work of German biologists Friedrich Jacob Henle and Johann Peter Muller.

Appearance, size

It is a massive cartilage fish with a spindle-like body. Compared to other gray sharks, it looks more stocky and dense. Male individuals are smaller than females — the female (on average) weighs 130 kg with a length of about 2.4 m, and the male pulls out by 95 kg with a length of 2.25 m. However, there is information about more impressive individuals, whose mass was close to 600 kg, and length to 3.5–4 m.

The snout (flattened and blunt) contributes to better maneuverability, and small eyes are equipped with a blinking membrane, like all members of the family of bale sharks. Powerful teeth (of a triangular shape with a serrated edge) resemble the teeth of a tiger shark: they are narrower in the lower jaw than in the upper jaw. It happens that a shark loses its front tooth, and then a tooth is pulled out of its back row, where new deadly teeth are constantly forming.

It is interesting! It is proven that the bull shark has the most powerful bite among modern sharks. They took into account the force of compression of the jaws relative to the weight, and the best result was shown by the blunt-headed shark (even the white shark lost to it).

The posterior dorsal fin is much smaller than the anterior, and the caudal fin has an elongated upper lobe with a notch at the end. In some sharks, the edges of the fins are somewhat darker than the background of the hull, but the color of the body is always uniform, with no streaks or patterns. The inconspicuous coloring helps the predator to disguise itself in shallow water: the gray color on the back smoothly flows along the sides into a lighter belly. In addition, the bull shark is able to control the intensity of color, based on the light at the moment.

Character and way of life

The blunt-nosed shark has adapted to life in fresh and seawater, easily swimming there and back, thanks to special instruments of osmoregulation. These are the gills and the rectal gland, the main task of which is to rid the body of excess salts that fall there when a shark stays in the sea. The predator can also distinguish between food or dangerous objects, focusing on the sounds emanating from them or on color (bright yellow objects / creatures located on the bottom cause particular alertness).

The bull shark is extremely strong and unpredictable: its behavior defies logic. She can accompany the diver for a long time and with an absolutely indifferent look in order to violently pounce on him in a second. And it is good if the attack will be only a test and will not continue with a series of trade pushes complemented by bites.

Important! Those who do not want to encounter a blunt-naked shark should avoid muddy water (especially where the river flows into the sea). In addition, you should not go into the water after heavy rain, when it is full of attracting sharks organic.

It is almost impossible to escape from the aggressor - the shark torments the sufferer to the last. Predators attack anyone who crosses the boundaries of their underwater possessions, often taking even the engines of outboard engines for the enemy.

Habitat

The gray bull shark inhabits almost all the oceans (with the exception of the Arctic) and a great many fresh-water rivers. These predatory fish are found in tropical and subtropical waters, occasionally dropping slightly below 150 m (more often they are seen at a depth of about 30 m). In the Atlantic, stupid sharks have mastered the waters from Massachusetts to southern Brazil, as well as from Morocco to Angola.

In the Pacific, bull sharks live from Baja California to northern Bolivia and Ecuador, and in the Indian Ocean they can be found in waters from South Africa to Kenya, Vietnam, India and Australia. By the way, the inhabitants of several countries, including China and India, are very honored and afraid of the bull shark. One of the species of blunt-naked shark constantly eats human flesh, which is promoted by the ancient local custom. Indians living in the mouth of the Ganges, lowered into their sacred waters of their dead tribesmen from the higher castes.

Diet stupid sharks

The predator does not have a refined taste and has everything in sight, including garbage and carrion. In search of dinner, the bull shark slowly and idly inspects the personal forage area, accelerating sharply at the sight of suitable prey. He prefers to search for food alone, swimming in the murky waters that hide the shark from a potential victim. If the object tries to escape, the bull shark hits him in the side and bites him. The shocks are interspersed with bites until the victim finally capitulates.

Standard diet stupid sharks are:

  • marine mammals, including dolphins,
  • young cartilaginous fish,
  • invertebrates (small and large),
  • bone fish and stingrays
  • crustaceans, including crabs,
  • sea ​​snakes and echinoderms,
  • sea ​​turtles.

Bull sharks are prone to cannibalism (they eat their relatives), and also often drag off small living creatures that came to drink water to the rivers.

It is interesting! Unlike other sharks, they are not afraid to attack objects equal to them in size. For example, in Australia, one bull shark attacked a race horse, and another dragged an American Staffordshire terrier into the sea.

The insolence and food illegibility of the species are especially dangerous for people who occasionally fall into these teeth in these monsters.

Reproduction and offspring

The mating season of the stupid shark falls on the late summer and early autumn.. Unrestrained and viciousness of the species, or rather, its males, are fully manifested in love games: it’s not for nothing that ichthyologists attribute male bull sharks to the most evil animals of the planet. As it turned out, their organisms produce an astronomical amount of testosterone, a hormone responsible for the mood and increased aggressiveness of these predatory fish. It is the hormonal surges that explain the outbursts of rage, when the sharks begin to crouch on everything that moves nearby.

It is interesting! The partner does not bother with protracted courtship and is not ready to show tenderness: he simply bites the chosen one by the tail until she lies upside down. After the intercourse has occurred, the female heals scratches and wounds inflicted on it for a long time.

The predators enter the flooded estuaries of the tribes, wandering through shallow water (for the bull shark, live birth is typical, as for the other gray sharks). The female turns into a live incubator where the embryos grow for 12 months. Pregnancy ends with the birth of 10–13 shark (growth 0.56–0.81 m), which immediately show sharp serrated teeth. Mother does not care about children at all, which is why they have to lead an independent life from the first days.

Juveniles do not leave estuaries for several years: here it is easier for them to find food and shelter from pursuers. The child-bearing age occurs, as a rule, in 3-4 years, when males are drawn up to 1.57–2.26 m, and young females - up to 1.8–2.3 m. Fertile-reaching stupid sharks leave brackish waters, where born and raised, and float towards the sea to enter adult life.

Natural enemies

A blunt-eyed shark (like many marine predators) crowns the food pyramid and therefore has virtually no enemies, with the exception of the more powerful sharks and killer whales.

Important! Juvenile bull sharks are prey to large white, tiger and blue-gray sharks, as well as being of nutritional value for older individuals of their species and pinnipeds.

In river and coastal ecosystems, young and adult bull sharks are hunted by huge reptiles:

  • comby crocodiles (in Northern Australia),
  • Nile crocodiles (in South Africa),
  • Mississippi Alligators,
  • Central American crocodiles,
  • swamp crocodiles.

The most tangible threat to the snub-nosed sharks is a man who extracts them for the sake of delicious meat and fins.. Often killing a shark is dictated solely by the instinct of self-preservation or revenge for the phenomenal bloodthirstiness.

Population and species status

The gray bull shark belongs to game animals, which is why the population is steadily declining. In addition to meat pulp, liver and pancreas (for the needs of the pharmaceutical industry) and elastic skin (for book covers or elegant cases for watches and jewelery) are used.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature considered that today the species has the status of “close to vulnerable”. Due to its good vitality, stupid sharks are well adapted to the artificial environment and can be contained in public aquariums.

Habitat bull shark

Habitat of gray bull sharks is very wide. They are found in all oceans except the Arctic, as they prefer warm tropical and subtropical waters.

Bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas).

An interesting fact is that stupid sharks feel great in fresh water. They can be observed in the mouths of rivers, such as the Ganges, Mississippi, Zambezi, and even in small rivers of Asia, Africa, Australia and America. The bull shark can be seen even in Lake Michigan in North America.

External signs of a bull shark

The bull shark is considered to be one of the largest species of sharks: females grow in length to 3.5-4 m, while males - differ significantly in size (up to 2.5 m).

By itself, the bull shark has no distinctive features from other representatives of the family. Her business card is a blunt snout, enriched predator of the same name.

The bull shark is the most dangerous inhabitant of the underwater world.

The body has a gray-steel color, sometimes, shimmering brownish tint. The back is a little darker, and the abdominal part is light. There are no pronounced spots and blotches on the body of a shark, but there is one very interesting feature: it can somewhat change the color of its body depending on the habitat - from light to darker, which allows the bull shark to be less noticeable on the hunt.

The shark's small eyes are endowed with a blinking membrane. The bull shark has five pairs of gill slits. The main weapon of the stupid shark are powerful jaws, equipped with sharp teeth. On the upper jaw, they have a peculiar lateral bend and a triangular shape, the lower jaw is armed with teeth bent inwardly to the mouth. The blunt-naked shark has massive developed dorsal and pectoral fins.

Stray sharks are found in coastal waters at a depth of up to 152 m.

Breeding bull sharks

Bull shark refers to viviparous species. Females bear babies 10-11 months, and the offspring has about a dozen sharks. Places for offspring are often located in the mouths of fresh rivers.

The name of the shark is associated with the shape of the body, wide and blunt snout, as well as aggressive behavior.

After giving birth, the mother shark leaves the newborns without hesitation. She would have no difficulty in immediately feasting on them, but nature had ordered that the female was indifferent to food during childbirth. On average, bull sharks live for 30 years.

Behavioral features of the gray bull shark

Blunt-headed sharks hunt mostly alone, sometimes in groups sticking to the bottom of the reservoir, only occasionally climbing up the channel far, far from the mouth. They adapted to life in troubled waters and to poor lighting.

During a flood in Queensland 2010–2011, a blunt shark was observed in the flooded streets of Brisbane.

Known for their aggressive attitude, the males protect the territory from strangers, including people, it is easy for them to attack an unprotected person. These predators, as a rule, live in shallow depths, inspecting their environment. But this should not be neglected. The gray bull shark can attack with lightning speed, fiercely and mercilessly.

Danger bull shark for humans

As mentioned above, the stupid sharks are one of the most dangerous sharks in the world, and they firmly occupy the third line of world statistics on attacks on humans. In 1916, a horrific case of a massive attack of bull sharks on people was recorded off the coast of New Jersey. Thus, according to many experts, it is a no less dangerous man-eating shark, standing on a par with the great white shark.

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