Habitat: Common apex predator that inhabits estuarine, nearshore and offshore waters of both the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of Florida. Commonly enters estuarine waters and is one of the few shark species that may inhabit freshwater, sometimes venturing hundreds of miles inland via coastal river systems.
Feeding: Versatile and opportunistic feeder. Stomach contents have included a variety of bony fishes and invertebrate species, sharks, rays, dolphins, sea turtles, and sea birds.
Reproduction: Gives birth to live young. Litters contain 1-13 pups. Size at birth about 2.4 feet. Utilizes shallow bays and coastal lagoons as nursery areas.
Size/Age: Maximum size about 11 feet. Matures at approximately 14-18 years of age (about 6.5 feet) and is estimated to live 24+ years.
Human Factors: Constitutes only a small portion of the commercial shark fishery. Hardy species; does well in captivity. One of the more dangerous shark species, accounting for the third highest number of attacks on humans.
Illustration: © Diane Rome Peebles