Bull sharks are solitary and opportunistic hunters which use the “bump and bite” method. This is where they first bump their prey with their nose to investigate it and see if it is edible before they then bite it. After the initial bite, they tend to continually bite their prey until they are dead. They are apex predators which prey on a wide variety of food. Their diet usually includes bony fish, smaller sharks, turtles, birds, stingrays, crustaceans, and dolphins. Adults have very few natural predators. However, juveniles are preyed on by tiger sharks, sandbar sharks, and other bull sharks.
Marine ecologist Neil Hammerschlag has caught and released a lot of sharks in his day. But there’s no question the most memorable was the thousand-pound female bull shark named Big Bull, one of the largest specimens on record.
When we talk about breeding female bull sharks generally being the largest, it’s actually no wonder as they take around 10 years to fully mature. Full maturity for females is reached once they are 6 to 7.5 feet long. Incredibly, they are unable to breed until they reach this size. Maturity is a little shorter for males at 5 to 7.4 feet long.
Bull sharks are viviparous. They give birth to live young who are born after a 10 to 11-month gestation period. Litter size varies between 1 and 13 pups. They are fully formed and approximately 30 inches long at birth. The female doesn’t rear her young, and the pups are left to fend for themselves immediately after birth.