Not just Shark
Pictures: Elasmodiver contains photos of sharks, skates, rays, and
chimaera's from around the world. Elasmodiver began as a simple web
based shark field guide to help divers find the best places to
encounter the different species of sharks and rays that live in
shallow water but it has slowly evolved into a much larger project
containing information on all aspects of shark diving and shark
There are now
more than 5000 shark pictures and sections on shark evolution,
biology, and conservation. There is a large library of reviewed
shark books, a constantly updated shark taxonomy page, a monster
list of shark links, and deeper in the site there are numerous
articles and stories about shark encounters. Elasmodiver is now so
difficult to check for updates, that new information and pictures
are listed on an Elasmodiver Updates Page that can be accessed here:
shark, Zambezi shark, Lake Nicaragua shark, Cub shark.
set body. Broad, short snout. Eyes proportionately small. First dorsal large and
pointed. Upper body uniformly grey fading to paler grey on the belly. Tips of
all fins and trailing edge of caudal fin are sometimes dusky. No interdorsal
length 340cm. Size at birth 56-81cm.
Turbid inshore waters, lagoons, estuaries, freshwater rivers and lakes,
coastlines, and reef environments down to 150m. The Bull shark is famous for its
habit of occasionally swimming upstream hundreds of miles in some river systems such as the
Mississippi, Amazon, Zambezi, and Lake Nicaragua.
and distribution: Circumtropical
consists of many food types including bony fishes, turtles, seals, crabs, and
squid. Adult Bull sharks are especially keen on other elasmobranchs. Hunting may
take place in both salt and fresh water habitats.
Recorded litter size 1 - 13. Gestation period 10 - 11 months.
sharks have been observed lying motionless on the seabed as if sleeping. No
explanation for this desire to rest is immediately obvious.
Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.
In the Caribbean Sea the Bull shark is often confused with the Caribbean reef shark (C.perezi)
which is not as heavy bodied and has more distinct markings. Many carcharhinids
are superficially similar to the bull shark and attention to fin coloration and
overall body proportions are important clues to species identification. Of a
similar size or even bigger than the bull shark is the Dusky shark (C.obscurus).
The Dusky often has very little identifying markings but has a longer and more
pointed snout than the Bull.
Reaction to divers:Although Bull sharks have been implicated in
many attacks on bathers, divers are normally not harassed unless they are spear
fishing. Dr Erich Ritter was bitten 'on camera' during a
shark feed at Shark Beach in the Bahamas. The incident resulted in the lengthy
documentary - Anatomy of a Shark Bite.
logistics: There is now a new Bull Shark
feed in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Phantom Divers in PDC take divers out to the
feed which is in 80ft of water. Up to 24 sharks sometimes visit the feed from
November to the beginning of March.
Beach AKA Bull shark Beach at Walkers Cay in the Bahamas was at one point the
best location for viewing Bull sharks in the world. In 2003 it was closed. Erich
Ritter's injury was probably a contributing factor to the closure but the entire
resort fell victim to a fierce hurricane.
excellent area for Bull shark encounters is the Coastline of southern Africa
around Protea Banks, and Aliwol Shoal. Many operators service these areas from
South Africa and Mozambique and a list of companies can be found in the
elasmodiver links section. Any recommendations from divers of specific outfits
would be welcome.
Other locations submitted by readers:
Scott Williamson writes from Koh Tao, Thailand: Just north of the island is a
dive site called Chumphon Pinnacle and since October bull sharks have been
spotted on this site nearly everyday. I'm told they hang around till the end of
February every year and then return in the fall.
Sharks of Tropical and Temperate Seas. - R.H.
Johnson - Pisces Books
Sharks and Rays of the World. Scott W. Michael. Sea Challengers.
and Rays - Elasmobranch Guide of the World. Ralf M. Hennemann. IKAN.