TOEFL Level test Reading

Read the passage below and then answer the questions

1. The bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas, also known as the Zambezi shark or unofficially Zambi in Africa and Nicaragua shark in Nicaragua, is a shark commonly found worldwide in warm, shallow waters along coasts and in rivers. The bull shark is known for its aggressive nature, its predilection for warm shallow water, and its presence in brackish and freshwater systems including estuaries and rivers.

2. The bull shark can thrive in both saltwater and freshwater and can travel far up rivers. They have even been known to travel as far up as Indiana in the Ohio River, although there have been few recorded attacks. They are probably responsible for the majority of near-shore shark attacks, including many attacks attributed to other species. Bull sharks are not actually true freshwater sharks, despite their ability to survive in freshwater habitat.

3. 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. It is found to a depth of 150 meters, but does not usually swim deeper than 30 meters (98 feet). In the Atlantic, they can be found from Masachusetts to southern Brazil, and from Morocco to Angola. In the Indian Ocean, it is found from South Africa to Kenya, India and Vietnam to Australia.

4. Bull sharks are typically solitary hunters, but occasionally hunt in pairs. They often cruise through shallow waters. They can accelerate rapidly and can be highly aggressive, even possibly attacking a racehorse in the Brisbane River in the Australian state of Queensland. They are extremely territorial and attack animals that enter their territory. Since bull sharks often dwell in very shallow waters, they may be more dangerous to humans than any other species of shark, and along with the tiger shark, oceanic whitetip and great white shark, are among the four shark species most likely to attack humans.

5. One or several bull sharks may have been responsible for the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916, which was the inspiration for Peter Benchley’s novel, Jaws. The speculation of bull sharks possibly being responsible is based on some attacks occurring in brackish and freshwater, as well as there being certain similarities in bite marks between bull and great white sharks.

6. The bull shark is responsible for attacks around the Sydney Harbor. Most of these attacks were previously attributed to great whites. In India, bull sharks swim up the Ganges River and have attacked people. Many of these attacks have been attributed to the Ganges Shark, Glyphis gangeticus, a critically endangered river shark species that is probably the only other shark in India able to survive in fresh water, although the grey nurse shark was also blamed during the sixties and seventies.

7. Bull sharks are large and stout, with females being larger than males. The bull shark can be up to 81 cm (2.66 ft) in length at birth. Adult female bull sharks average 2.4 m (7.9 ft) long and typically weigh 130 kg (290 lb), whereas the slightly smaller adult male averages 2.25 m (7.4 ft) and 95 kg (210 lb). While a maximum size of 3.5 m (11 ft) is commonly reported, there are records of specimens as large as 4 m (13 ft) and of weights as high as 575 kg (1,270 lb). Bull sharks are wider and heavier than other requiem sharks of comparable length, and are gray on top and white below. The second dorsal fin is smaller than the first. Per the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet program Animal Face Off,  bull sharks have a bite force of up to 567 kilograms.

8. Bull sharks mate during late summer and early autumn, often in the brackish water of river mouths. After gestating for 12 months, a bull shark may give birth to four to ten live young. They are viviparous; the embryo develops inside the body of the mother, and they are born live and free-swimming. The young are about 70 cm (27.6 in) at birth and take 10 years to reach maturity. Coastal lagoons, river mouths, and other low-salinity estuaries are common nursery habitats.