Shark Week GIF of the Day: Bull Shark

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Bull sharks can be found off U.S. waters from Massachusetts in the Northeast (in rare cases; they don't usually appear much farther north than Delaware) all the way down and around to the Gulf of Mexico. Off the west coast they can, on rare occasions, be found in southern California, and more typically in the Gulf of California.

SHARK WEEK STARTS SUN AUG 10 8/7C!
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Bull sharks prefer shallow, coastal waters. Common habitats for them include lagoons and bays. They'll also make a living at the mouths of rivers, sometimes swimming in fresh water that commingles with salt water. They've been spotted, for example, in the Mississippi River, as far north as Illinois.

Bull sharks are fully matured by about 6 years old, and will usually live until 14 years of age or thereabouts. Their litters can have as few pups as just one or as many as a dozen or so.

For sheer size bull sharks don't do too badly. Some can reach 11.5 feet long, although it's more common for them to stop growing around 9 feet long. Adult females typically weigh about 290 pounds -- heavier by about 80 pounds than the average male.

In terms of diet, it might be shorter to list the things it doesn't eat. The bull shark will dine on bony fish, turtles, dolphins, stingrays, and a host of other marine life. It will also eat small sharks, even other bull sharks!

In keeping with its name, the bull shark is a stocky creature -- broad at its middle, with a flat snout. It doesn't mind being aggressive and has 1,300 pounds of bite force to match its overheated personality.

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