Hammerhead Shark

Common Name: Hammerhead Shark

Type: Fish

Family: Sphyrnidae

Range: Hammerheads are available worldwide in the warmer waters along coastal lines and continental slope. They are different from most of the sharks, hammerheads shark usually go swimming in schools all through the day, but become private hunters during the night. Few of such schools could be noticed near Cocos Island, off Costa Rica, Malpelo Island in Colombia, and near Molokai Island, in Hawaii. Larger schools are also noticed in eastern and southern Africa. A tour to Coco Island is ideal for enthusiastic scuba divers who want to see these marvel hammerheads with whale sharks, manta rays, that are common to Coco’s striking waters.

The great hammerhead is the largest of the nine identified species of this shark. It can grow up to 20 feet (6 meters) in length, although smaller sizes are more common and it can vary between 4-6 meters.

Weight: It is weighing 500 to 1,000 lbs (230 to 450 kg).

Diet: They are carnivore; their diets are comprises a large range of items including Small sharks, sting rays, squid, octopus and bony fish.

Average life span: Average life span in the wild is between 20 to 30 years.

Habitat: Hammerhead sharks are extensively scattered in tropical and mild oceanic waters close to the coasts and above the continental slopes. There are possibilities that they might migrate seasonally, they can move to equator ward during the winter weather and pole ward in summer. However, they are available in warm waters in coastal areas worldwide.

Breeding/Reproduction: Reproduction takes place once in a year with the male biting the shark female violently to make her agree to mate with him. Hammerhead sharks are viviparous as they keep hold of fertilized eggs within her body and deliver birth to young that can be in the range from 2-42 in numbers. The young and smaller species give birth just a few, whereas the huge hammerhead shark will produce to several dozen. The birth generally takes place during the spring and summer seasons, and hammered shark females will give birth in shallow, and protected coastal areas. The little will live in these areas until they reach bigger sizes and can safely move into deeper offshore waters.

Hammerhead sharks are member of the Sphyrnidae family under the order of Carcharhiniformes. It got its name because their head is shapes like a hammer. Most hammerhead sharks can be seen swimming in the warmer and tropical waters all over the world. Mostly in the bountiful marine life of Costa Rica, hammerhead sharks can be seen inhabiting the along the coastline waters of Cocos Island National Park as well Nicoya Peninsula.

Most of these species are light grey in color with a hint of green within the body. Their ventral side like their belly is white. These could be beneficial when preying in the bottom of the ocean since the white belly can act as camouflaged when hunting for food. Their head shapes like a hammer since it has side by side projections. Their eyes are on both ends of the head that gives them the ability to great eyesight above and below them. Hammerhead sharks measurement depends on each species. They extend from 3 to 20 feet long and their weight is usually on the average from 500 to 1,000 lbs.

Hammerhead sharks organized schools or group themselves in the day but during night they will disperse and hunt alone for food. Their main diet includes various marine animals like fish, octopus, squids, crustaceans and even other hammerhead sharks some their young. But they really fancy stingrays as their sustenance. Upon hunting they usually used its head to bump the prey making them weak. Then that is the time that they will eat them.

Their reproduction only happens just once a year. Upon mating the male hammerhead tends to bite off the female till they submit to copulation. When the female give birth to their young they tend to not care for them usually the babies will swim together going to much temperate waters until they are old enough to tend on their own.

There are nine species of hammerhead sharks but only three of them can be peril to human. These are the Scalloped Hammerhead, Great Hammerhead as well as Smooth Hammerhead.

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed the Great Hammerhead as well as the Scalloped Hammerhead as endangered species and the Smalleye Hammerhead as vulnerable due to the declining in numbers because of over fishing since their fins are famous for an expensive delicatessen in some countries.

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