Everything You Wanted To Know About Bull Sharks, But Were Too Afraid To Ask

If you love scuba diving, then bull shark diving in Playa del Carmen should definitely be on your bucket list! For this exciting scuba diving experience, you’ll need your Advanced Open water certificate. The best time to go is from November to March. This is when the bull sharks migrate to give birth. You will get experienced instructors as guides who are very strict on safety measures so your only worry is not to run out of memory on your camera when you dive with these powerful creatures.
Want to know more before you go? Look at everything you wanted to know about bull sharks but were too afraid to ask here:

Bull shark and a diver in Playa del Carmen


Bull Shark Data

Here are some bull shark facts:

  • Bull sharks have black-tipped fins and grey backs. The stomach area is white.
  • Bull sharks lack any specific facial features or markings.
  • The eyes are small, so they have limited visual powers.
  • The snout is wide, and the movable jaws are filled with triangular teeth.
  • The jaw can reach 90 inches!
  • The bull shark can swim at almost five miles an hour. And uses long pectoral fins to glide through shallow waters.
  • Bull sharks are active during the daytime and at night.
  • Bull shark females give birth normally about four to ten calves each mating season.
  • The pregnancies last for a year, and the babies are around 28 inches long when born.
  • It takes about fifteen to twenty years for youngsters to reach adulthood.
  • Female bull sharks of reproductive age have scars as the male bites to hang on during mating.
  • When bull sharks swim in a group this is called a shoal or a school. “In biology, any group of fish that stay together for social reasons is shoaling…, and if the group is swimming in the same direction in a coordinated manner, they are schooling.”
  • Female bull sharks tend to have dominance over males.
  • Bull sharks life expectancy is around 25 years.
  • Bull sharks are one of the 43 species that can actually live in both fresh and salty water.


Bull sharks in Playa del Carmen

Find answers to some frequently asked questions about bull sharks:

Where do bull sharks live?

Practically all over the world, in the Atlantic Ocean, bull sharks can be found in the shallow and warm waters of Brazil, Angola, Morocco, and on the east coast of the United States and Mexico. In the Indian Ocean, it lives in waters from Vietnam, Australia, South Africa, and Kenya. They can also be spotted in the Pacific Ocean. These sharks are migrants and sometimes can also be found in rivers and freshwater lakes.

If the waters are moderately deep and relatively warm, the bull sharks will stay for a while before moving on. The Caribbean Sea is the perfect retreat for when the female bull sharks want to give birth, they usually choose the warm waters of the reefs around Playa del Carmen.


What do bull sharks eat?

A bull shark will eat oysters, small fish, turtles, and even other bull sharks. Rays, seabirds, mammals, and shrimp are all also on the menu! In Africa, even young hippos have been preyed upon. Just like their name suggests the shark attacks the prey by head-butting it initially before biting.

How many teeth does a bull shark have?

Bull shark teeth grow in rows. Each row has about seven teeth, and there are around 50 rows of teeth in the jaws. Making a total of around 350 teeth in the mouth when fully equipped.

female bull shark in playa del carmen

Are bull sharks dangerous for people?

Apart from accidentally biting surfers( under low visibility conditions the sharks confuse the silhouettes of people with seals for instance), sharks are not dangerous to humans. We are not part of their diet, so unless we make them feel threatened they will just swim around you in a curious and playful way. Having said this, recent scientific research has shown that bull sharks have a stronger bite than the great white shark with enough force to lift approximately 1,300 lb (600kg!).

For many years the Ko’ox team has safely conducted non-baited dives with them without having any unfortunate incidence. Don`t miss our ultimate guide to diving with bull sharks in Playa del Carmen, Mexico so you can know more about them.

How big do bull sharks get?

A typical male bull shark’s length is around 7ft (3.5m). A female may reach almost 8ft (4m). The largest bull shark ever reported was about 13 ft (7m) in length. Weight varies according to length – from 200lb (90kg) to 300lb (130kg) depending on whether females are pregnant. Bull shark size is relevant to males and females as the male is longer and lighter. The females are shorter and heavier.

Can bull sharks live in freshwater?

Bull sharks can live in both freshwater and saltwater environments. They have a special gland that enables them to get rid of excess salt in the sea or to conserve it in rivers, lakes, and streams. The kidneys and liver automatically adjust to cope with the amount of salt present in the water.

How long can a bull shark live?

A healthy male bull shark lifespan is around 13 years and 17 years for females but records indicate that 25 years can be achieved.

Are bull sharks a threatened species?

Bull sharks are still hunted for their meat, oil, and skin. Recreational and sports fishing are also contributing to its decline and as the increase in popularity of keeping bull sharks in aquariums. Due to migratory traits the bull sharks are affected by pollution and getting caught in fishing nets. This could be potentially damaging to the population of the bull shark. These hazards all contribute to them now being classified as a near-threatened species.

bull shark playa del carmen 2018


Dive With Bullsharks Dive in Playa del Carmen Dive with Ko’ox

Bull Sharks are one of the most beautiful creatures in the ocean. Now that you already know a little bit more about them, don’t miss the opportunity to dive with bull sharks while they are enjoying the beauty and diversity of the Caribbean reefs in Playa del Carmen.

2 Bull Shark Dives Prices in USD (November – March) Get this tour
Bull Shark Diving – Advanced Open Water from Tulum $274 6:30am – 3pm Book Now
Bull Shark Diving – Advanced Open Water from Playa $214 7:30am – 3pm Book Now
Bull Shark Diving – Advanced Open Water from Cancun $234 5:30am – 3pm Book Now
Advanced Open Water Course – 5 Adventure Dives (30m) Prices in USD Duration Get this tour
Advanced Open Water Course from Tulum $534 3 days Book Now
Advanced Open Water Course from Playa $534 3 days Book Now
Advanced Open Water Course from Cancun $574 3 days Book Now

Get a Quote Book Now

1-4 people small group visits – every day, meeting points available: Tulum, Playa Del Carmen, Cancun
Prices are fixed, regardless of the number of people in the group.
All prices include equipment rental: – diving gear, 2 tanks, a wetsuit, fins, etc
Free Nitrox 32 is available upon request for tech certified divers – please let us know in advance
Advanced Open water certification or equivalent is required.
Please mind that Bull Sharks Season is from November to March.
As we do not feed the sharks, it is common to see 4-5 sharks during the dive
Please mind that we might change the date of the tour, to make sure you will get to see bull sharks or in case of bad weather
For private diving tours, please contact us, so we can provide an exclusive offer for you.

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