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Great Hammerhead Shark

Created on Day 5

on January 12, 2012; last updated January 12, 2012
Aquarium Guide - Mini

The most striking design feature is the shape of the great hammerhead shark’s head.

Design

Hammerhead Shark

The most striking design feature is the shape of the great hammerhead shark’s head. It was designed by the Creator, but its purpose is not fully understood. Some scientists speculate it maximizes the area of sensory organs that are used to detect thermal, chemical, and physical changes, as well as electrical fields of prey.

Features

  • The most distinguishing feature of the great hammerhead shark is the shape of its almost rectangular head. The anterior margin is nearly straight.
  • Its eyes are located at each end of its hammer-like head.
  • The hammerhead shark varies in color from a dark olive to a brownish-gray on the upper half. The underside is white.

Fun Facts

  • A newborn great hammerhead shark’s head is a round shape, but it will change to the unique “hammer” shape as it becomes an adult.
  • The great hammerhead shark is the largest of the nine hammerhead species.
  • The nutrition of the embryos is by a placental-like arrangement, including an umbilical cord.
  • The number of young varies from 12 to 40.

CLASS: Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish—sharks, skates, and rays)
ORDER: Carcharhiniformes (ground sharks)
FAMILY: Sphyrnidae (bonnethead sharks, hammerhead sharks, and scoophead sharks)
GENUS/SPECIES: Sphyrna mokarran

Size: 13–20 ft (4–6 m)
Weight: Average 945 lbs (430 kg)
Diet: Fish, squid, octopuses, crustaceans
Habitat: Open and shallow tropical waters worldwide

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