Bull sharks are one of the most misunderstood creatures in the ocean. They’re often painted as man-eating monsters. But they’re quite docile. Bull sharks are not inherently aggressive, but there have been cases where they bite people. The truth about bull sharks and human attacks is quite complicated and fascinating:
What Are Bull Sharks, And Where Do They Live?
Bull sharks are found worldwide, but they’re especially prevalent in coastal regions. They can be seen swimming up rivers and estuaries, and they love to roam areas where the water is warmer. Bull sharks are not picky eaters. They’ll consume just about anything that fits into their mouths. It includes other small sharks and crustaceans. Their primary diet consists of bony fish like tuna and mackerel.
What makes Bull Sharks so Threatening:
Bull sharks are incredibly fast and strong, which gives them such an aggressive reputation in the water. These creatures can grow up to 7 ft long and weigh over 200 lbs. Bull sharks also have a heightened sense of smell that allows them to seek out prey from a distance.
They can also sense electromagnetic fields in the water. It is how they often hunt prey at night (even though their eyesight is not great). They can travel up to 25 miles per hour and swim deep without problems.
The oceanic whitetip shark is another creature that has a bad reputation due to its role in past tragedies. Many people believe these sharks are responsible for most of the fatal shark attacks,
Why are Bull Sharks not Attacked by Humans?
These creatures aren’t feared as much as other large predators because they don’t typically see people as food items. These animals will take their time to decide whether or not a human is prey. In many cases, they’ll keep swimming rather than striking.
Bull sharks are also known to attack boats that enter their territory, but they do not go after the people on board. Bull sharks can be aggressive when defending their young or in mating season. However, these creatures rarely attack without provocation or enter areas with lots of boats since they’re highly intelligent.
The Truth About Bull Sharks And Human Attacks:
One of the most common misconceptions about bull sharks is that they are man-eaters. However, this isn’t true. Bull sharks do not go out hunting humans. Instead, these creatures often mistake swimmers for their typical prey item. Most people bitten by bull sharks were swimming near the shore and didn’t know they were there.
Like many other large predators in the ocean, bull sharks do not see humans as food. Instead, they typically see them as threats and often attack to defend their territory. Bull sharks do not just bite and let go, either. They often keep chewing until their target is too injured to fight back.
The last factor might seem counterintuitive, but it has been found that being hungry enhances their hunting instincts. So undernourishment might make them even more aggressive.
They are also found in brackish water bodies, which have a mix of both fresh-water and saltwater fishes. There are certain precautions that swimmers can take to remain safe when encountering one near the beaches:
-Do not swim in murky waters where you cannot see clearly what is beneath you. It can also help reduce your chances of being attacked by a shark. It’s because they are easily scared away if they spot their prey hiding near rocks that form sharp edges when submerged at high tide. They will leave immediately upon feeling pain from these objects. It gives swimmers above them enough time to get out of the water.
-Swim in groups, especially with experienced swimmers who know how to defend themselves from sharks and can help fight one-off. Do not wear shiny jewelry or anything that glows when it is in contact with water. Because sharks are attracted to bright objects that they mistake for fish near the shoreline, they attack people on surfboards.
-Do not enter the water if you have an open wound or a cut. It’s because the blood that comes out of it can attract sharks who mistake it for food and attack swimmers in the water.
-In conclusion, there are certain things that you can do to protect yourself from getting attacked by aggressive bull sharks. Only swim close to the shoreline where lifeguards regularly patrol and avoid murky waters. It’s because it’s difficult for humans to see what’s beneath clearly. And wear clothes that cover your skin because it reduces the chances of sharks mistaking you for something else like a seal.
Why People Get Attacked By Bull Sharks:
90% of the time, bull sharks are not the ones to blame for attacks on humans. These creatures often mistake swimmers for their usual food out of sheer curiosity. In many cases, bull sharks are not aware that humans aren’t a good source of food. It is why many attacks occur when people swim in murky areas where bull sharks hunt their prey most often.
Additionally, these creatures spend a great deal of time near river mouths and shorelines. It’s because they feed on bottom-dwelling animals like crabs and fish. Many incidents occur because humans swim into an area occupied by a shark looking for food. Sharks like the great white and the tiger shark are known to focus on humans as a food source. They should be avoided in any situation. Yet, they prefer to bite not more than twice.
How To Stay Safe Around Bull Sharks:
Arguably, the best way to remain safe around these creatures is simply by avoiding them. They are very dangerous and should be treated with caution at all times. One should never swim in areas where bull sharks are known to live, especially if the water is unclear.
This means that it’s best not to go swimming at night because this is when they tend to hunt. If you have no other choice, stay as far away from murky water as possible and swim quickly.
Do not enter the ocean if you have been drinking alcohol. It could make swimmers more likely to be attacked by a shark because they are less aware of their surroundings. Most importantly, stay calm when in an area where bull sharks might live. Sharks often attack from behind, so it’s best not to swim in a straight line.
Interesting Facts About Bull Sharks:
-They are the only shark that can live in saltwater and freshwater. They can also survive on either fresh meat or fish for food. Bull sharks have even been found far upriver in Africa’s Nile River. Bull sharks get their name because of the shape of their head, which is more round than other types of sharks.
-These types of sharks love to eat fish more than anything else. But will also snack on other animals that come into their territory, including turtles and smaller sharks.
-Bull sharks make it a habit to swim in the murky waters near shores, looking for fish or other food. They can go up to 30 meters underwater, making them very hard to spot while not hunting.
-They also enjoy swimming very far upriver because they can survive in freshwater. When bull sharks swim upriver, they begin to adapt by taking on certain characteristics of freshwater species. It includes things like slower growth rates and smaller sizes. Bull sharks are one of the few sharks that can survive in freshwater for more than a short period.
Are bull sharks more aggressive than other species of sharks?
It’s fair to say that bull sharks are more aggressive than other species. One study found they were responsible for 65% of the unprovoked attacks involving the injury of a human. Bull sharks can be found globally in tropical and temperate waters, either close to or within tidal waters.
But they avoid polar waters due to their intolerance for cold water. They’re comfortable living in freshwater. It could mean they could pose a threat to swimmers in Maine waterways that aren’t typically home to saltwater animals. Bull sharks have been found in the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.
How do you tell a bull shark from a great white?
Great whites are easily identifiable by their large size and the fact that they have a dorsal fin located down their back. On the other hand, bull sharks have a smaller dorsal fin that is located closer to the middle of their back. Additionally, bull sharks can be identified by their broader head and shorter snout region.
How dangerous are bull sharks?
Bull Sharks are considered one of the most aggressive species in the sea. It’s especially during the mating season when they can become even more territorial than usual. They aggressively protect their hunting territory and should never be approached by divers without caution.
Bull sharks are particularly dangerous to humans because they inhabit freshwater. Bull sharks belong to the same family of sharks like the great white. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t the only dangerous shark that belongs to this family.