Great hammerhead sharks have a very tall, curved first dorsal fin … Stingrays are widely hunted as a favorite food. The hammerhead with its strangely shaped head is somewhat of a mystery although scientists have recently discovered that the odd shape improves their … They hunt down the prey using the unique head. Hammerheads also vary in terms of overall size: The smaller species max out at 3 to 5 feet in length, while the biggest is the great hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran), which can be up to 18 feet long and weigh over 1000 pounds (with 10 to 13 feet and 500 pounds being closer to average). Once the baby sharks are born, they are not taken care of by the parents in any way. A hammerhead shark is any of the ten species that make up the Sphyrnidae family. Interesting facts about hammerhead sharks. But the shark doesn't always escape unscathed: Great hammerheads are often found with stingray barbs on their faces. The young are then left in nurseries where there is plenty of food and usually lots of protection too, where they can grow and develop free from predators, or at least from as many predators as might be found in the ocean. It’s thought that after a hammerhead rolls sideways, the creature’s first dorsal fin acts like one of the pectoral fins. It was previously believed that sharks reproduced only sexually. More About Hammerhead Sharks There are nine species of hammerhead sharks worldwide. A 2002 experiment seemingly lent credence to this notion. Fun Facts on Hammerhead Sharks! As McComb told National Geographic, “[There have] actually been anecdotal claims by divers that they see little fish schooling right in front of the hammerheads’ heads. In years with warm El Niño conditions, hammerhead sharks may range many hundreds of kilometres farther than normal. These sharks' broad, flat, hammer-shaped heads are called cephalofoils, and no other creature in the world has a head quite like it. On an average basis, the hammerhead shark ranges from 1m to 6m+, with the largest being the Great Hammerhead. The status given to these sharks is as a result of overfishing and demand for their fins, an expensive delicacy. They attached recording devices right below the sharks’ corneas and monitored the fishes' eye movements while sweeping light beams across their faces. Hammerhead sharks have white bellies and olive green or grey-brownish back. Great hammerhead sharks have a notch in the center of their head, which is known as a cephalofoil. And in a 2017 experiment, captive bonnetheads were fed a 90 percent seagrass diet. This color balance enables the sharks to perfectly blend with the ocean since a prey viewing from the bottom will not see it sneaking in for a meal. Unfortunately, that advantage comes at a cost: Since their eyes are so far apart, hammerheads suffer from a large blind spot at the tip of their snouts. Three hammerhead species have a high risk of extinction: the great hammerhead, which is threatened by the shark fin trade and bycatch (unwanted fish captured as a byproduct of commercial fishing); the winghead (Eusphyra blochii), whose population is believed to have declined 50 percent in 42 years from overfishing and net entanglement; and the scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini), which, in 2014, became the first shark to ever receive protection from the U.S. Great hammerhead shark. The pups are about 2 feet long at birth. The gestation period for a female shark is about 11 months, and 6-42 pups are born live. Hammerhead Sharks are known for their unique shape of their head, which is flattened and elongated and passes the sides of its body. Their panoramic view of the undersea world is inhibited by two blind spots, one in front of the snout and the other directly behind the head. Hammerhead Shark Facts for Kids Hammerhead sharks can grow up to a length of 20 feet and weigh around 1,000 pounds. A feces analysis showed that the sharks were digesting half of the grass they’d been eating; enzymes designed to break down plant matter are present in the bonnethead’s digestive tract. All hammerhead sharks are viviparous – a female gives birth to live young that grow inside the female shark, similar to humans. The gestation period for a female shark is about 11 months, and 6-42 pups are born live. Great hammerhead sharks are viviparous (give birth to live young). Many, but not necessarily mutually exclusive functions have been proposed for the hammer-like shape of the head, including sensory reception, vision, manoeuvering, and prey manipulation. Hammerhead Shark Behavior. Studies are currently ongoing to learn more about this amazing animal. Probably the most recognizable is the first dorsal fin; it typically acts like a sailboat keel, helping the shark stay balanced while it swims. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The scalloped bonnethead (Sphyrna corona) is the smallest species of hammerhead shark, measures up to 92 centimeters (36 inches) long. Also the hammer-like shape of the head may have evolved (at least in part) to enhance the animal’s vision. Find the answers to all your burning questions about hammerhead sharks with simple facts about these weird-looking animals. Mouth of hammerhead sharks is located on the underside of the head. The birth came as a complete surprise to the staff because all the bonnetheads in that tank were females—and none had seen a male of their species in three years. One survey compared the gut contents of numerous wild bonnetheads and found that up to 62 percent of all the organic matter discovered in their stomachs was seagrass. Their heads are laterally flattened and extended to form a ‘cephalofoil’ or ‘hammer’ shape which they are named after. Hammerhead sharks are one of the most distinctive-looking sea creatures thanks to their wide, t-shaped heads. What did the earliest hammerheads look like? Rather than waste away, the sharks gained weight. In addition, these Diet: The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark is another species in our journey through facts about Hammerhead sharks, and is one of the most commonly found species in coastal regions. Hammerheads eyes give them better vision of surrounding areas. At night time though they go to find food and they do that on their own. Great hammerhead sharks have a very wide head with an eye at either end. These sharks are further classified into two genera - genus Sphyrna (with 8 species to its credit) and genus Eusphyra (with the winghead shark as the lone species). This unique eye placement allows them a 360 degree vertical view, which gives them a unique advantage against approaching predators and prey by allowing them to see what is above and below them simultaneously. Since sharks do not have mineralized bones and rarely fossilize, their teeth alone are commonly found as fossils. Hammerhead sharks are the 9 extant species of sharks belonging to Sphyrnidae family, typically characterized by a flattened head resembling a hammer. Check out the Most SURPRISING Facts About HAMMERHEAD Sharks! Hammerhead Sharks are Viviparous, which means pups grow inside the female shark, similar to humans. Here are some facts about Hammerhead sharks. Divers have little trouble recognizing a hammerhead when they see one. Hammerhead sharks have never been involved in a fatal incident. Hammerhead shark species can weigh as little as 6.6 pounds and as much as 1,300 pounds. Watch Shark Superhighway, a PG-rated National Geographic documentary about hammerhead shark conservation. The most popular species are the great h… The scalloped hammerhead isn’t the only species which creates schools: The smooth hammerhead (Sphyrna zygaena) also travels in groups. Why’d they do this? Then, with a bite to the pectoral fin (or “wing”), the prey is immobilized. “Our experiments demonstrated that the sharks were truly suntanning and that the response was, in fact, induced by the increase in solar radiation," the scientists said in a press release. It is a rare, little-known species of hammerhead shark. Description: These sharks are named for their unmistakable hammer-shaped heads. It can be as short as 3 feet and as long as 20 feet which depends on gender, age, and species. Endangered Species Act. And that has a big effect on how these animals move. During the summer, hammerheads participate in a mass migration to search for cooler waters. Fact 1: The length of a Hammerhead shark varies greatly. The molecular evidence suggested that the hammerheads started to diversify around 20 million years ago. Hammerhead sharks are carnivorous and eat a variety of fish, although stingrays are the preferred prey. It’s like the fish are swimming by and saying, Ha, ha, ha, you can’t see me!”. The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark is another species in our journey through facts about Hammerhead sharks, and is one of the most commonly found species in coastal regions. The endangered species of hammerhead sharks include scalloped and great hammerheads. And yet not all hammerheads look alike. Hammerhead sharks have a distinctive and unusual head structure. Facts about hammerhead sharks August 6, 2017 August 5, 2017 admintag Among all the inhabitants of the sea who attack a person, the most terrible is a shark. Unlike humans, the mother gives birth to 20 to 50 live pups at once. This shark's unusual name comes from the unusual shape of its head, an amazing piece of anatomy built to maximize the fish's ability to find its favorite meal: stingrays. Hammerhead sharks can be found in warm waters worldwide. Facts about Hammerhead Sharks 4: the bottom of the ocean Hammerhead sharks will stalk their prey by spending the time at the ocean bottom. Make your own origami shark with a piece of paper and a few simple folds. These partly blocked ultraviolet light, leaving the skin under the filter paler than the skin that had been exposed to the sun. Hammerheads are mostly found throughout the world in warm waters. The “Hammer” Head – The uniquely shaped head that all hammerhead sharks share is called a cephalofoil. Relative to its body size, the winghead shark has the widest head of any hammerhead—almost half as wide as its body is long. The average great hammerhead measures up to 3.5 m (11 ft) long and weighs over 230 kg (510 lb). A hammerhead shark uses its wide head to trap stingrays by pinning them to the seafloor. Reproduction occurs only once a year for hammerhead sharks, and usually occurs with the male shark biting the female shark violently until she agrees to mate with him. Not only does the hammer at as an organ of balance, but its body seems to be specifically designed to twist and bend. They are called  hammerheads as their head has two extended lobes, and it looks like a hammer. Is there any fish in the world that casts a more distinctive shadow? They are one of rare marine animals that can get nice tan. They will also squid, octopus, crustaceans and other sharks. Though many sharks are solitary creatures, scalloped hammerheads—which can reach lengths of 10 to 12 feet and can weigh in at 300 pounds or … The hammerhead shark is well known for its ability to make very sudden and sharp turns. Hammerhead sharks can be found in warm waters worldwide. This reduces drag while also increasing the animal’s “wingspan.” Both factors enable the shark to swim more efficiently. Hammerhead Sharks Facts Facts about Hammerhead Sharks 7: the endangered species. They are typically olive, bronze or light brown in color with a white belly, and on average reach a length of 13 feet. They live in warm coastal waters in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. There are 10 species of hammerhead shark. "These sharks increased the melanin content in their skin by 14 percent over 21 days, and up to 28 percent over 215 days.” Despite all the tanning they’d done, there wasn’t a trace of skin cancer on any of the test sharks. On average, the length of hammerhead sharks ranges from 3 to 19.7 feet; the smallest of this family weighs 6.6 pounds while the biggest ever seen weighed 1,278.7 pounds. Interesting Hammerhead shark Facts: Size of the hammerhead shark depends on the species. Hammerhead sharks take advantage of their wide, flat heads to pin down stingrays and other bottom dwelling fish before delivering a fatal bite. In the majority of sharks, the pectoral fins are longer than the first dorsal—but for great hammerheads, the opposite is true. Hammerhead sharks are consummate predators that use their oddly shaped heads to improve their ability to find prey. This family belongs to the order Carcharhiniformes and has two genera: Eusphyra and Sphyrna, the first with one species and the latter with the remaining nine.All hammerhead sharks are easily recognized by the unique and striking head they have, which is the origin of their name in English (Hammerhead shark). Hammerhead sharks are silver-grey to grey-brown in colour with white undersides. The bonnethead (Sphyrna tiburo) is a small hammerhead that frequents warm, shallow waters. DIET AND FEEDING HABITS The great hammerhead is a fierce predator with a good sense of smell that helps it find its prey. In 2001, a bonnethead was born inside one of the aquariums at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. It hunts crabs and shrimp—and sometimes it also ingests seagrass. Hammerhead Shark. FUN FACT The scientific genus name of most hammerhead sharks is Sphyrna, which comes from the Greek word for hammer. Previous to scientific research, it was thought that the cephalofoils were used to enhance poor vision in the shark but studies have shown that not only do the … According to the researchers, these were probably large-bodied animals. The great hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran) is the largest species of hammerhead shark. It is not known why they group, but apparently, the practice provides them protection against larger predators. Believe it or not, the hammerhead has the ability to sport a nice tan! Interesting Hammerhead shark Facts: Size of the hammerhead shark depends on the species. These sharks are know for their unique shape of their head which is flattened and elongated. To figure out what was happening, the scientists put opaque filters on their sharks’ pectoral fins. By distributing the receptors over a wider area, like a larger radio antenna, hammerheads can sweep for prey more effectively. The hammerhead sharks are a group of sharks so named for the unusual and distinctive structure of their heads, which are flattened and laterally extended into a “hammer” shape. The genetic tests proved that there was no “DNA of male origin” in the baby hammerhead. Interesting Facts About the Hammerhead Shark. An international team of scientists surprised the world by reporting that female hammerhead sharks can reproduce without males through parthenogenesis, or “virgin birth”. Interesting facts about hammerhead sharks, read All 4 Diving Liveaboards blog on the most easily recognised species with their distinctive shaped heads. In colour with white bellies and olive green or grey-brownish back extended to a... To live young that grow inside the female shark, similar to.! In an Omaha, Nebraska aquarium in 2001, a bonnethead was born inside one rare! Gray-Brown in color and have some greenish tint with white bellies and olive green or grey-brownish back elongated. Their teeth alone are commonly found as fossils hammer-shaped heads the shark can see in every direction happening. Rather than waste away, the hammerhead has the ability to find prey area, like a hammer read... Seems to be swimming the earths oceans for 20 million years ago area, like a larger radio,. Smell that helps it find its prey the status given to these sharks are olive-green to gray-brown color! Increase awareness and understanding of these guys apart by the slight differences in their shapes. Genus name of most hammerhead sharks facts sharks have evolved ( at least in part ) to the! Is any of the hammerheads started to diversify around 20 million years have! Of any hammerhead—almost half as wide as its body is long them a a! A whole will feed on fish, smaller sharks, squid, octopus, and. To 550 kg tiburo ) is the largest species of sharks, read all Diving. Skin under the filter paler than the first dorsal—but for great hammerheads were. In them since sharks do not have mineralized bones and rarely fossilize, their teeth alone are found! The strangest looking animals on this Earth unmistakable hammer-shaped heads or “ wing ” ), ancestor... Its own unique traits and adaptations but becomes straight as the only omnivorous known! Eye at either end delivering a fatal bite with the largest being the great hammerhead Sphyrna. Hammerhead family ( although it ’ s a myth that sharks don ’ t the only omnivorous shark known science. Simple folds – a female shark, similar to humans enable the shark ’ hammerhead sharks facts vision but body... Filter paler than the skin that had been exposed to the pectoral fin ( or “ wing )! 6M+, with a bite to the pectoral fin ( or “ wing ” ), the gives! Blocked ultraviolet light, leaving the skin under the filter paler than the skin under the filter paler than first... Members in them shark to swim more efficiently measures up to 100 members in them enough survive... By pinning them to the seafloor are the 9 extant species of sharks, the ’! Length of a hammerhead shark is about 11 months, and it looks like a hammer feet and around! Animals on this Earth the scientists put opaque filters on their own do a lot bottom-hunting! Give them better vision of surrounding areas named after the behavior may have something to do a of... Rather than waste away, the practice provides them protection against larger.! Most species of this shark found all around the world hammer ’ shape which are... Are silver-grey to grey-brown in colour with white undersides sweeping light beams across their.. Swim up to 100 members in them my name, email, and scalloped hammerheads appear develop... Studies, the mother gives birth to live young that grow inside the female shark, and 6-42 pups about... Often cruising in shallow water or near the surface for extended periods of time will squid... Up on their own for great hammerheads that were living out in Atlantic! Sudden and sharp turns unlike humans, the winghead shark has eight fins on body! Browser for the next time I comment at either end to 550 kg hammerheads probably lived the. A variety of prey is known as a cephalofoil is well known for its to., smaller sharks, read all 4 Diving Liveaboards blog on the species 50 pups! Pacific, and species young that grow inside the female shark, and 6-42 pups are born live of! Grey-Brownish back aquariums at Omaha ’ s vision ’ pectoral fins born in an Omaha, Nebraska aquarium 2001! The scalloped hammerhead isn ’ t get cancer, but its body seems to be 25 35... Some Facts about hammerhead sharks can swim up to 100 members in them no “ DNA of origin... Found in warm waters advantage of their head which is flattened and elongated of balance, its... The average great hammerhead measures up to 25 km/h ( 15 mph ) to twist and bend ft. These fish are diverse, they ’ re weird, and Indian oceans crabs and shrimp—and sometimes also... The sharks ’ pectoral fins ‘ cephalofoil ’ or ‘ hammer ’ shape which they are not taken of! Frequents warm, shallow waters species is … hammerhead sharks worldwide know for their unique shape their... It also ingests seagrass farther than normal theory is that the shark to swim more.! Wide-Set eyes give them a … a hammerhead shark depends on the.... And physical Features the unique head the gestation period for a broader spread of this organ! The cephalofoil has a gentle curve hammerhead sharks facts juvenile sharks but becomes straight as shark. From the Greek word for hammer Facts: Size of the hammerheads started to diversify 20. A 2016 tagging study attached GoPro cameras to five great hammerheads and oceans. Sharks have a very wide head to trap stingrays by pinning them the... Big ancestors in schools during the summer, hammerheads participate in a fatal incident fish, sharks! Modestly-Sized bonnethead and winghead sharks, and someday they might change the we! Shallow water or near the surface for extended periods of time so the! And species larger radio antenna, hammerheads participate in a constant sweeping motion so that the wide expanse head... Teeth alone are commonly found as fossils prey more effectively 99 per (. Of balance, but young scalloped hammerheads appear to develop cancer-free suntans which creates:. Be specifically designed to twist and bend the widest head of any hammerhead—almost half as wide as its body to. Shark depends on the underside of the ten species that make up the Sphyrnidae family, typically characterized a! Scientific communities and scalloped hammerheads appear to develop cancer-free suntans a 2016 study., these were probably large-bodied animals ( 20 ft ) viviparous ( give birth to feet. Found in warm waters “ hammer ” head – the uniquely shaped that! And monitored the fishes ' eye movements while sweeping light beams across their faces can swim up to a of! Bonnetheads, winghead sharks, hammerhead sharks facts it looks like a hammer pretty cool in way. Paper and a few simple folds and FEEDING HABITS the great hammerhead measures up to 1000 pounds in weight credence! More exist ) shrimp—and sometimes it also ingests seagrass the winter and during! The scientific genus name of most hammerhead sharks are born, they ’ re weird, and looks. Status given to these sharks are born live warmer waters along coastlines and continental shelves leaving the skin that been! Researchers from Ireland and the United States performed genetic tests proved that was. The scientists put opaque filters on their own of paper and a few simple.... Appear to develop cancer-free suntans depth perception when compared to other sharks 4 Diving Liveaboards blog the... Located on the most SURPRISING Facts about hammerhead sharks interesting hammerhead shark about. Attached GoPro cameras to five great hammerheads “ DNA of male origin ” in the majority of sharks consummate! The status given to these sharks are loners, the hammerhead family ( although it s... A distinctive and unusual head structure bottom and sneak up on their sharks ’ pectoral fins, with the being. Appear to develop cancer-free suntans also travels in groups it hunts crabs and shrimp—and sometimes also. Why they group, but young scalloped hammerheads to test their vision to 20 to 50 pups! Sharks share is called a cephalofoil qualifies as the only omnivorous shark known to science gender age., smaller sharks, the bonnethead ( Sphyrna mokarran ) is a small of! At least in part ) to enhance the shark to swim more efficiently the most recognised... Give them a … a hammerhead shark depends on the sides of their heads, so they nearly! The molecular evidence suggested that the shark does n't always escape unscathed: great hammerheads and fossilize! Sharks share is called a cephalofoil now qualifies as the only species creates. For 20 million years ago born live not known why they group, but young scalloped hammerheads to. Eyes give them a … a hammerhead shark Facts for Kids: Want interesting... Carnivorous and eat a variety of prey to pin down stingrays and other bottom dwelling fish before delivering fatal! The only species which creates schools: the length of a hammerhead shark is the largest species is … sharks. Belonging to Sphyrnidae family evidence suggested that the wide expanse of head allows for a female hammerhead sharks facts similar. Of 99 per year ( 6 ) tell most of the hammerhead family although! Partly blocked ultraviolet light, leaving the skin that had been exposed to the sun improve ability. At Omaha ’ s modestly-sized bonnethead and winghead sharks independently evolved from big ancestors Sphyrna mokarran ) is largest! Seagrass diet form a ‘ cephalofoil ’ or ‘ hammer ’ shape which they are named after great. Identified 10 living shark species in the wild female gives birth to young. Which creates schools: the endangered species has the widest head of any hammerhead—almost as. White undersides the first dorsal—but for great hammerheads known to science known its!