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Hammerhead Shark – Family Sphyrnidae

Hammerhead Shark

Facts about Hammerhead Sharks

Many individuals find the hammerhead shark to be one of the most fascinating. The very strange and different look it offers definitely gets it noticed. This one species of shark that doesn’t get confused with any other out there. Since most hammerhead sharks are harmless to humans they aren’t feared either like so many of them are in the waters. There are 9 separate species of hammerhead sharks out there and only three species can be dangerous to humans.

They prefer to live in warm water that is found along the coastlines. They can be found in tropic and sub tropic waters all over the world. They tend to migrate to cooler water in the summer months. They prefer to live well below the surface of the water.

Facts about Hammerhead Shark

The shape of their head allows them to be able to find prey easier. Since their eyes are set apart they can see what is going on in various directions better than other species of sharks. They also have plenty of sensory organs in their head so they can feel vibrations and movements of their prey when they don’t see them.

What do Hammerhead Sharks Eat?

While the hammerhead shark is mellow, it takes hunting for food very seriously. They have a great sense of smell so they are able to locate food without too much trouble. They eat a variety of foods including small fish, sting rays, small sharks, and squid. There are reports that when food is scarce the hammerheads will eat each other as a last resort in order to survive.

The Anatomy of a Hammerhead Shark

There is no mistaking a hammerhead shark when you see one. The head is wide and very thick. It looks like a hammer at both ends and their eyes are set out on these ends so they are very far apart. The body is a light gray on the top with white underneath. They have a dorsal fin that is very big and it has a point at the top of it.

They feature rows of teeth just like other types of sharks. They have a triangle shape to them and they are extremely sharp. They vary significantly in size and weight. They can end up being 20 feet long. They can also weigh from 500 to 1,000 pounds.

Most species of hammerhead sharks have a greenish tint to them. Some are a light gray while others are more green. Underneath they are white which allows them to blend in well in the water and to go undetected by their prey.

Reproduction of Hammerhead Sharks

Female hammerhead sharks give birth to their pups. They can have from 20-40 of them at any one time. They immediately separate themselves from the young though. Since these sharks have such a unique shape they are often feared in the water so they don’t have too many enemies. A good percentage of the young hammerheads will survive.

The Future for Hammerhead Sharks

The exact number of hammerhead sharks found around the world isn’t fully known. Since they are often so deep below the surface of the water it is hard to get an exact count.

Hammerhead sharks seem to adapt well to their surroundings. Since they are willing to eat whatever they can get their hands on they will continue to survive. One concern for them is changes in the temperature of the water as they don’t seem to do well when it is too cold.

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, this is the status of species of hammerhead shark:

Whitefin hammerhead (Sphyrna couardi) – Not evaluated

Carolina hammerhead (Sphyrna gilberti) – Not evaluated

Scoophead (Sphyrna media) – Data deficient

Bonnethead (Sphyrna tiburo) – Least concern

Winghead shark (Eusphyra blochii) – Near threatened

Scalloped bonnethead (Sphyrna corona) – Near threatened

Smooth hammerhead (Sphyrna zygaena) – Vulnerable

Golden hammerhead (Sphyrna tudes) – Vulnerable

Great hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran) – Endangered

Scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) – Endangered




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May 2016
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