The Bull Shark lives just as happily in freshwater as saltwater! Its body has adapted to live in all sorts of water, and it’s often found high up in rivers and estuaries. It has even washed into town streets during flooding! But be a bit careful with Bull Sharks; they earn their name because of their grumpy personalities.
The Bull Shark is found worldwide, mostly in shallow coastal regions, rivers and estuaries. Although the Bull Shark is not a true freshwater species, it can thrive in brackish and freshwater environments and travel high up river systems. They are able to adapt to a wide range of salinity levels, and move between salt and freshwater with ease. They are one of the only cartilaginous fishes reported to live in freshwater systems and are found in rivers worldwide, including over 500 individuals known to permanently occupy Australia’s Brisbane River. (Also well known to inhabit canals on the Gold Coast) The Bull Shark’s kidneys, liver, gills and rectal gland are all specially adapted to moderate the right sodium and chlorine levels in the shark’s body to survive in different salinity. The Bull Shark is well known for its aggressive, unpredictable dispossession, and has been linked to human attacks. Weight for weight, the Bull Shark has the highest ‘bite force’ of any investigated cartilaginous fish. The female is larger than the male, averaging 2.4 metres (7.9 ft) in length, and gives birth to live young in typically low-salinity or freshwater nursery areas such as coastal lagoons.