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Bull Shark

Carcharhinus leucas


Illustration of a bull shark showing important characteristics
  • Back is pale to dark gray, fading to a white belly
  • Snout bluntly rounded, much shorter than width of mouth
  • Large triangular first dorsal fin; begins over or just behind pectoral fin insertion
  • No interdorsal ridge

Similar Species: Lemon shark, N. brevirostris (first and second dorsal fins nearly equal in size); Caribbean reef shark, C. perezii (has interdorsal ridge); and sandbar shark, C. plumbeus (first dorsal fin starts before pectoral fin insertion)

Size: Up to 9 or 10 feet 


Estuarine, nearshore and offshore waters 


One of the few shark species that may inhabit freshwater, sometimes venturing hundreds of miles inland via coastal river systems; more aggressive than most shark species

Additional Information

Recreational Regulations


Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles