Shark Species

What Are Bullhead Sharks (Hornsharks or Heterodontiformes)?

Bullhead Shark, Hornsharks, Heterodontiformes

Avoid going near the shoreline, you might get attacked by Bull-head sharks.

Bullhead sharks are also known as Horn sharks and belong to an Order: Heterodontiformes, family: Heterodontidae, and genus: Heterodontus.  The genus comprises only 11 species – all have a broad head, short snout, and smallmouth. According to researchers, bullhead sharks are known to be the most dangerous species of sharks and are mostly spotted near the shoreline, especially in those areas where humans prefer to swim. Read the article to learn about the living habitat of Bullhead sharks.

What is the Geographical Distribution Of Bull-Head Sharks?

The species of Bull-head sharks are widely distributed over the globe, they are found in the open waters of the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Galapagos Island, along the Western coast of North and South America, Australian Pacific waters, the Persian Gulf, and the Arabian Sea, New Zealand, Eastern African coast, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

What Habitat Do Bull Sharks Share?

The Bull sharks are found in the shallow waters of the marine environment – in the tropical and subtropical zone. They are found along the continental shelves at the depth of about 499 feet or 152 meters but commonly they are spotted at the depth of 7 to 36 feet or 2 to 11 meters. During the winter season, they swim down at the depth of 98 feet or 30 meters. The adult species live in the crevices or on the coral reefs. These sharks prefer a water temperature of 20 oC or 70 oF.

What Is The Physical Appearance Of Bull-Head Sharks?

The Bullhead sharks have bulky bodies which are brown to grey and with pointed ends from both sides. They have a small, rounded but blunt snout, and well-developed eyes which provide them with a wide range of vision. They have two dorsal fins, one anal and caudal fins with a large upper lobe and a small lower lobe, and five pairs of gill slits.

The skin of Bullhead sharks is covered with strong and sturdy denticles which provide them protection from other predatory animals. The sharks can reach a maximum length of 28 to 51 inches or 70 to 130 centimeters and weigh 200 to 500 pounds the species sexually matures when they reach the length of 15.7 to 28 inches or 40 to 70 cm, the female sharks are slightly larger than the male sharks.

What Do Bull-Head Sharks Eat?

The fast predators are bottom dwellers and hunt actively during the night hours. They feed on almost everything including small fishes, sharks, dolphins, crabs, shrimp, starfish, lobsters, barnacles, urchins, polychaetes, gastropods, mollusks, echinoderms, and sea turtles.  Though, humans are not included in their diet.

How Do Bull-Head Sharks Reproduce?

The shark species are oviparous which means that they lay eggs in the surrounding waters and the eggs hatch after the completion of the gestation period of 6 to 10 months. In a single breeding season, the sharks lay 24 to 30 eggs, the eggs are surrounded by a leathery egg shell which protects the egg from harsh environmental conditions. The Bullhead sharks have an average life span of 14 to 16 years.

Which Species Are Included In The Order Heterodontiformes?

Following are the species of sharks included in the order Heterodontiformes:

  • Crescent Bullhead Shark
  • Japanese Bullhead Shark
  • Crested Bullhead Shark
  • Mexican Horn Shark
  • Oman Bullhead Shark
  • Horn Shark
  • Galapagos Bullhead Shark
  • Port Jackson Shark
  • White-spotted Bullhead Shark
  • Zebra Bullhead Shark


Bullhead sharks also known as Horn sharks belong to the order Heterodontiformes, the species came into the limelight because of their broad head, short snout, and smallmouth. They can grow to a maximum length of 28 to 51 inches or 70 to 130 centimeters and weigh 200 to 500 pounds, they are bottom dwellers and feed on almost everything they find.

They reproduce by oviparous mode of reproduction and can have a maximum life span of 14 to 16 years. The Bullhead sharks are known to be one of the most aggressive species of sharks and are often spotted near the coastline, in a highly crowded area, so be careful whenever you plan to spend a day on a beach.

About the author


I am a Scholar and a dedicated content writer. I am on a mission to stamp out the importance of one of the ocean's most fascinating and remarkable creatures, the sharks, and to let people know about their role in keeping the ecosystem in equilibrium.