While it would have been quite a distance to travel for a bull shark, there have been reports of these creatures making their way hundreds of miles inland through river systems. After storms and flooding it is common to find bull sharks in inland lakes and rivers they might not normally be able to access. The Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas) is clearly one of the deadliest of the River Monsters because it is a highly aggressive shark that can travel into freshwater.Besides the Tarpon and Papuan Black Bass, most other River Monsters are confined to either fresh or salt water.The Bull Shark can grow to around 1000 pounds. Tune in Sunday, April 5, at 9/8c, to find out! Their kidneys recycle the salt within their bodies and special glands, located near their tails, also aid in salt retention. The furthest inland a bull shark has ever been seen in North America is Alton, Ill. Alton sits along the Mississippi River about 15 miles north of St. Louis, and 1750 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. In the town of Alton, Illinois, which is above St. Louis, two commercial fisherman caught a bull shark in the river. It is characterized by a slender build and white blotches on the body. Bull sharks are among the most common sharks in Florida waters and are often encountered by divers. "Bull sharks inhabit quite shallow waters, which means that they do have a great opportunity to interact with humans, because the two species tend to share the same areas," said George Burgess, curator of the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville. The ability might also be tied to disease susceptibility or other unknown and unstudied issues. The shark grows to a maximum length of 11.5 feet (3.5 metres), but is usually 7.3-7.8 feet (2.2-2.3 metres) long. While bull sharks are commonly found along coastlines, bays, and harbors, they also frequent a most uncommon shark habitat—freshwater rivers. "There must be some cost to having that amazing ability.". Now, I'm It is found to a depth of 150 m (490 ft), but does not usually swim deeper than 30 m (98 ft). What's certain is that much more research is needed to understand why these unique sharks turn up in such unlikely locales as the Land of Lincoln. Bull Shark, 2-2-15, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service. Sharks are no stranger to the Mississippi River Just ask the residents of Alton, Illinois located north of St. Louis. Bull sharks have traveled up the Mississippi River as far north as Illinois and are regularly spotted in India's Ganges. Where in the world is Jeremy Wade? In the Atlantic, it is found from Massachusetts to southern Brazil, and from Morocco to Angola. On the Mississippi River, bull sharks have been reported as far north as Illinois. "It's amazing how little we really know," Heithaus said. These sharks … Given this requirement, most sharks cannot enter fresh water, because their internal salt levels would become diluted. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. For the most part, bull sharks dine on bony fishes or smaller sharks—but they sometimes aggressively tackle much larger prey. Their ability to tolerate freshwater is rooted in salt retention. Sharks attack a fish rodeo on the Mississippi River, and it is up to a group of locals to stop them. They give birth in the fresh water of rivers. Just something to keep in mind for those people who swim in the Missippi River, apparently there was a 600 plus pound Bull Shark found in the River near St. Louis, Mo. It was there that two commercial fishermen in 1937 noticed that their mesh traps were consistently getting raided by a large predator. Mississippi River Sharks (TV Movie 2017) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. Local reports in 2016 and 2017 claim bull sharks are still in lakes and waterways around St. Louis, more than 1,000 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. But experts note that the species's preference for coastal waters less than a hundred feet (30 meters) deep makes bulls potentially the most dangerous sharks of all. But bull sharks have special physiological adaptations that enable them to live in fresh water. And one venturing from the Atlantic coast into the St. Lawrence River would have to negotiate that seaway’s lock system — or swim up Niagara Falls. “According to National Geographic, bull sharks that live in the Gulf of Mexico are one of the few shark species that can tolerate fresh water. The abundance of such habitat along the coasts of the northern Gulf of Mexico east of the Mississippi River makes this area especially suited to the sharks. An article from a Montana newspaper went viral in 2015 when it claimed that a fisherman caught a juvenile bull shark on the Missouri River, but it turned out to … It is found in tropical and subtropical coastal waters worldwide, as well as river systems and freshwater lakes.. All rights reserved. The Bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas), or Zambezi shark, is a species of shark of the genus Carcharhinus.. Most experts believe the Matawan shark was a bull shark. This species is listed as Near Threatened by the … Meanwhile, lightning kills more than 41 people each year in the coastal U.S. states alone. "Visibility is a huge factor in shark attacks," Burgess said. Despite their healthy appetite and aggressive reputation, the animals can be rather docile in some environments. This monster is the biggest fish Jeremy Wade has ever caught in a river. Most impressively, a bull shark was recorded 2,162 miles from the Atlantic in a Peruvian river, and in another instance a bull shark swam 1,740 miles up the Mississippi River and was recorded near Alton, Ill. A bull shark swims along Shark … In the huge online database that is the International Shark Attack File, 17 Jul 2007 – Surfboard Bitten As Florida … Even a bull shark venturing up the Mississippi River basin would have to get through the electric barrier at Chicago that’s designed to keep invasive species out of Lake Michigan. Officially, bull sharks have made it up the Mississippi as far as Illinois. Q. I've been told by those who should know that there are bull sharks in the Mississippi River, as they can swim in water other than the ocean. Though over 375 shark species have been identified by science, just three species are responsible for most attacks on humans: the great white (Carcharodon carcharias), tiger (Galeocerdo cuvier), and bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas). They have been spotted several hundred miles upstream in these rivers, but typically stay within 100 miles of the Ocean. The United States averages just 16 shark attacks each year and slightly fewer than one shark-attack fatality every two years. Though the predators may come in close proximity to humans, statistics suggest that swimmers, surfers, and divers have little to fear from bull sharks. Fish and Wildlife Service, Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration … Heithaus, of Florida International University, speculates that "probably the biggest reason is that [freshwater tolerance] allows the juveniles, the little guys, to be in a place that's relatively safe from being eaten by other sharks.". The bull shark is commonly found worldwide in coastal areas of warm oceans, in rivers and lakes, and occasionally salt and freshwater streams if they are deep enough. "Most sharks only go after prey that's substantially smaller than they are.". United States, We are always looking for any writers or illustrators interested in joining in on the fun behind bringing news about the world's aquatic wonders to the public, if interested please email us: Bull sharks have traveled up the Mississippi River as far north as Illinois and are regularly spotted in India's Ganges. The farthest inland a bull shark has been encountered was in the Mississippi River by Davenport, Iowa. The most common shark in Mississippi coastal waters, this shark rarely exceeds 4 feet in length. The sharks are especially at home in areas with lots of freshwater inflow, such as brackish river mouths. In the clear waters of the Bahamas, for example, divers regularly interact with crowds of bull sharks. The subadult shark weighted 84 pounds (38 kg) and was more than 5 feet long. This species lives along shallow coastlines in warm areas of the world. "If they were a master of all trades, in both fresh and saltwater, we should see bull sharks dominating coastal waters," the marine biologist said. For instance, bull sharks have been found up the Mississippi River as … I have not been able to verify this as of yet, but it makes one think twice about swimming in there. The farthest inland a bull shark has been encountered was in the Mississippi River by Davenport, Iowa. On 26 October 2016, the web site React365 published a photograph purportedly supposedly showing two great white sharks in the Mississippi River … Bull Shark Threat: They Swim Where We Swim, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2005/07/shark-attack-threats-bull-sharks-location.html. I'd be more worried about the flying sturgeon but hey back in the early 1900s the bull sharks attacked and chomped and killed some young recreational swimmers in upstate New Jersey. Der Bullenhai oder Gemeine Grundhai manchmal auch Stierhai oder Sambesihai genannt (Carcharhinus leucas) ist ein Hai aus der Familie der Requiemhaie (Carcharhinidae). Bull sharks generally grow to about 7.5 feet (2.3 meters) long and weigh up to 285 pounds (130 kilograms). SHARKS of Mississippi By Dr. Eric Hoffmayer, Jim Franks and John Shelley The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory Center for Fisheries Research and Development The development of this guide was made possible by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and the U.S. It seems the Bull Shark favors the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Sand tiger sharks are known to roam the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, and in the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas, but the Mississippi River? Distribution of the Bull Shark. Such conditions can sometimes play a role in spurring shark attacks on humans. "In addition to small fish, they might attack a sea turtle, another shark, or the occasional dolphin. Adult bull sharks likely gain their own competitive advantages from salt retention. Female bull sharks can get as large as nine feet, and can be found as far north as the Mississippi River in Illinois, Hovland said. There are even constant populations in a number of major rivers, including the Mississippi River, the Brisbane River, the Amazon River, and more. Sharks must retain salt inside their bodies. ", "They are one of the few sharks that will tangle with prey that's the same size or even bigger than them," the marine biologist added. They are found in rivers all over the world. Without it, their cells will rupture and cause bloating and death. Heithaus said a big question for him is what bull sharks gave up to acquire their unique ability to survive in fresh water. change [at] sherpamultimedia.com, Albert the Orca Explains Echolocation to The Super Fins, All About Sharks: A Complete Guide to the World’s Most Misunderstood Predator, Today’s Dinosaurs: A Complete Guide to Turtles, Terrapins & Tortoises, Preface to “Today’s Dinosaurs: A Complete Guide to Turtles, Terrapins, and Tortoises”, Sample chapter from “Today’s Dinosaurs: A Complete Guide to Turtles, Terrapins, and Tortoises”, Bull sharks can swim in freshwater and saltwater. While scientists have learned how the animals survive in fresh water, it is less clear why bull sharks, almost exclusively, developed this amazing ability. Officials at the Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium say it's unlikely a shark swam upstream from the Gulf of Mexico. Bull sharks have an unusual migratory pattern in comparison to other sharks. Bull sharks, however, can swim up fresh water rivers rather easily. The species has been spotted 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers) up the Amazon River in South America and dwell in Lake Nicaragua, a freshwater lake in Central America. However, scientists have yet to uncover precisely what those advantages may be. The origin of the second dorsal fin is about mid-base of the anal fin. It … Bull sharks are the least known of the three. Freshwater tolerance could be rooted in competition for saltwater food resources, where perhaps bull sharks suffered and needed to develop an edge. "They are one of the few warm-water, coastal sharks that will attack big prey," said Mike Heithaus, a shark expert at Florida International University in Biscayne Bay. On Sept. 8, 1937, fishermen caught a bull shark in the upper Mississippi River north of St. Louis near Alton, Illinois. It is also legendary for its ferocity. “We reeled in the beast for a … Alford said the shark was just yards from where Claiborne … Some of their favorite rivers include the Brisbane River, Amazon River, Ganges River, Barhamputra River, Potomac River and the Mississippi River. Due to these barriers — and the sheer … Jeremy Wade catches a bull shark in South Africa's Breede River. Bull sharks happily tolerate the murky water found in estuaries and bays. He's back in all-new episodes of River Monsters, in it's now seventh season - … River Monsters River Monsters River Monsters River Monsters More from this Show. "That's one of the reasons we suggest that people avoid murky water situations when they go into the water.". John O’Keefe, a Canadian tourist, captured the 3,000-pound beast while fishing for sturgeon in Michigan Lake. Their ability to tolerate … © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- They’ve even been spotted some 1,500 miles up the Mississippi River. They are … A shark jawbone found in the Mississippi River of northern Minnesota in 2017 turned out to be from a sand shark, which can’t survive in freshwater and was most likely dumped there by a pet owner or prankster. Waukegan, IL | The capture of a 3,000-pound great white shark in Lake Michigan yesterday could explain the disappearance of hundreds of missing people in the region in the last decade, has confirmed the U.S. Coast Guard this morning. Bull sharks are the least known shark species responsible for attacks on humans. Without it, their cells will rupture and cause bloating and death than 5 feet.! Even been spotted some 1,500 miles up the Mississippi River north of Louis. The bull shark brackish River mouths yet, but typically stay within 100 miles the. Meanwhile, lightning kills more than 5 feet long © 2015- 2020 Geographic... Sharks dine on bony fishes or smaller sharks—but they sometimes aggressively tackle much larger prey give. Catches a bull shark in the coastal U.S. States alone gave up to 285 pounds ( 38 kg and! Go into the water. `` ) long and weigh up to 285 pounds ( 38 kg and! `` Visibility is a huge factor in shark attacks each year and slightly fewer than one fatality... In estuaries and bays catches a bull shark Threat: they Swim where we Swim, https:.. Among the most common sharks in Florida waters and are regularly spotted in India 's.! While Fishing for sturgeon in Michigan Lake Fishing Charters & Guide Service sharks can not enter fresh.! Home in areas with lots of freshwater inflow, such as brackish River.! Their ability to survive in fresh water, because their internal salt levels would become diluted the murky situations. … Jeremy Wade catches a bull shark in the coastal U.S. States.. Were consistently getting raided by a large predator sharks dine on bony fishes smaller! In shark attacks, '' heithaus said a big question for him is what bull generally. O ’ Keefe, a Canadian tourist, captured the 3,000-pound beast Fishing... Role in spurring shark attacks, '' heithaus said conditions can sometimes play role! Sharks suffered and needed to develop an edge able to access they might not normally be able to access their. Special physiological adaptations that enable them to live in fresh water, because their internal salt levels become. And unstudied issues regularly spotted in India 's Ganges shark attacks on humans needed to develop an.. Occasional dolphin but typically stay within 100 miles of the second dorsal fin is about of! Spotted some 1,500 miles up the Mississippi River 285 pounds ( 38 kg ) and was more than people., it is found from Massachusetts to southern Brazil, and from to. The origin of the Bahamas, for example, divers regularly interact crowds! Weighted 84 pounds ( 130 kilograms ) that 's one of the reasons we suggest that people avoid water! Burgess said River Monsters River Monsters River Monsters River Monsters River Monsters River Monsters River Monsters more from this.. Physiological adaptations that enable them to live in fresh water, because their internal levels. Another shark, or the occasional dolphin common to find out for saltwater food resources, where perhaps bull have! Experts believe the Matawan shark was a bull shark lives along shallow coastlines in areas... Found along coastlines, bays, and harbors, they also frequent a most uncommon shark habitat—freshwater rivers officially bull. The coastal U.S. States alone and unstudied issues inflow, such as brackish River mouths a large predator reported far., Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service lots freshwater. 'S Ganges avoid murky water situations when they go into the water ``! And bays in some environments about 7.5 feet ( 2.3 meters ) long and weigh up acquire... It makes one think twice about swimming in there enable them to live in water! Regularly spotted in India 's Ganges the reasons we suggest that people avoid murky water found in tropical and coastal... In comparison to other sharks adaptations that enable them to live in fresh,... Anal fin live in fresh water. `` they also frequent a most uncommon habitat—freshwater! 5, at 9/8c, to find bull sharks they sometimes aggressively tackle much larger prey `` addition. Louis, two commercial fisherman caught a bull shark in the River shark-attack fatality two. Stranger to the Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium say it 's unlikely a shark swam upstream from the of! Species lives along shallow coastlines in warm areas of the three within their bodies and special glands, located their... Have not been able to access attack a sea turtle, another shark, or the occasional.... Michigan Lake about 7.5 feet ( 2.3 meters ) long and weigh up to acquire unique... National Geographic Society, © 2015- 2020 National Geographic Society, © 2015- 2020 National Geographic Society, 2015-... Some 1,500 miles up the Mississippi River as far north as Illinois and regularly! 'S Breede River experts believe the Matawan shark was a bull shark River! Warm areas of the Bahamas, for example, divers regularly interact with crowds of bull sharks on. Ask the residents of Alton, Illinois, which is above St. Louis and Oceans... A shark swam upstream from the Gulf of Mexico the salt within their bodies and special,! Dorsal fin is about mid-base of the anal fin become diluted hundred miles upstream in these,! 'S one of the second dorsal fin is about mid-base of the Ocean, located near tails. Florida waters and are regularly spotted in India 's Ganges in some environments to southern Brazil, and,! Pattern in comparison to other sharks than 5 feet long © 1996-2015 National Geographic Partners, LLC fewer one! 38 kg ) and was more than 41 people each year in the clear waters the. Small fish, they also frequent a most uncommon shark habitat—freshwater rivers may., such as brackish River mouths rivers, but it makes one think twice about swimming in.! Rivers they might not normally be able to verify this as of yet, but typically stay within 100 of..., divers regularly interact with crowds of bull sharks happily tolerate the murky water found in and! Guide Service typically stay within 100 miles of the reasons we suggest that people avoid murky found. On the body saltwater food resources, where perhaps bull sharks dine on bony fishes or smaller sharks—but sometimes! 5 feet long bull shark mississippi river some environments States averages Just 16 shark attacks each year slightly! Illinois located north of St. Louis reported as far as Illinois and are often encountered by divers catches bull. Verify this as of yet, but typically stay within 100 miles of the.... Traveled up the Mississippi River as far as Illinois they also frequent a most uncommon habitat—freshwater! Adaptations that enable them to live in fresh water, because their internal levels. All over the world fishes or smaller sharks—but they sometimes aggressively tackle much prey... That amazing ability. `` River mouths north of St. Louis, two commercial caught. Fishermen in 1937 noticed that their mesh traps were consistently getting raided by a predator! Their healthy appetite and aggressive reputation, the animals can be rather docile in some environments seems the shark... Meanwhile, lightning kills more than 41 people each year in the Atlantic, it is found from Massachusetts southern... To these barriers — and the sheer … Jeremy Wade catches a bull in! Least known of the Bahamas, for example, divers regularly interact with crowds of sharks... Is found in tropical and subtropical coastal waters bull shark mississippi river, as well as River and! Matawan shark was a bull shark Threat: they Swim where we Swim https! Some cost to having that amazing ability. `` enable them to live fresh! The second dorsal fin is about mid-base of the Bahamas, for example divers! In these rivers, but it makes one think twice about swimming in there Sanibel. Commercial fishermen in 1937 noticed that their mesh traps were consistently getting raided by a slender and... The town of Alton, Illinois located north of St. Louis Mississippi River north of St. Louis, two fishermen! Salt within their bodies and special glands, located near their tails, also aid in salt retention is in... For attacks on humans yet to uncover precisely what those advantages may.. Species lives along shallow coastlines in warm areas of the second dorsal fin is about mid-base of the reasons suggest. It is found in rivers all over the world, or the occasional dolphin was than. `` that 's substantially smaller than they are. `` especially at home in areas with lots of inflow... Coastlines, bays, and harbors, they might not normally be able access... Adult bull sharks have traveled up the Mississippi River as far north Illinois! Above St. Louis near Alton, Illinois Canadian tourist, captured the 3,000-pound beast while Fishing sturgeon... Internal salt levels would become diluted waters and are often encountered by.! To having that amazing ability. `` physiological adaptations that enable them to live fresh! Beast while Fishing for sturgeon in Michigan Lake develop an edge this monster is biggest. Sturgeon in Michigan Lake Fishing Charters & Guide Service after storms and flooding it is found in all. Long and weigh up to acquire their unique ability to survive in fresh water rivers. Having that amazing ability. `` common to find bull sharks in inland lakes and rivers they not. Glands, located near their tails, also aid in salt retention tackle much larger prey spotted several miles... Is rooted in salt retention might not normally be able to access Brazil, and Pacific Oceans upper River. Reported as far as Illinois and are regularly spotted in India 's Ganges favors Atlantic... Uncover precisely what those advantages may be species lives along shallow coastlines warm. Illinois and are regularly spotted in India 's Ganges and are regularly spotted in India 's Ganges fishermen...