Friday, July 9, 2010

Scalloped Hammerhead Shark – Sphyrna lewini

The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark is one of the 10 species of Hammerhead Sharks. The name scalloped comes from the shape of the front edge of the head. Hammerhead sharks are the most unique shark of all which their distinctive flat ‘hammer’ shaped head. Researchers have determined a few reasons for the shape and attribute this shape to an aid for hydrodynamic efficiency and increased electrical sensory skills to pick-up bottom fish such as rays. Hammerhead sharks are unfortunately still targeted throughout the world for sport fishing and commercial fishing but they are abundant in areas indicating that their existence is not endangered by man yet.

Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks have been held in aquariums but do not adapt well and normally only last a matter of months before dying. The Scalloped Hammerhead shark belongs to the large hammerhead species. They are an olive, bronze or light brown colour with a white belly. The tail fin is very long and pectoral fins are black on the tips. Scalloped Hammerhead shark’s teeth are finely serrated. The upper teeth are broader than the lower teeth and are slanted slanted toward the jaw corners to help them hold their prey.

The Scalloped Hammerhead is harmless unless threatened or cornered. They are known to be more active at night and will normally shy away from you if you are diving in their waters.

The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark is most commonly present in the coastal regions of tropical, subtropical and moderate climate zones. Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks do enter bays and estuaries but also are common around deep pinnacles. They are found in waters as deep as 275m / 902ft

The female gives birth to approximately 38 pups max and they are approximately 50cm / 20in in length and grow up to 4.2m / 13.8ft.

Source: Hammerhead Shark

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