There are 10 species of hammerhead shark. 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. Check out the Most SURPRISING Facts About HAMMERHEAD Sharks! There are 9 species of hammerhead sharks, ranging in size from about 3 feet (0.9 m) long to over 20 feet (6 m). Hammerhead Shark. These sharks are know for their unique shape of their head which is flattened and elongated. According to the researchers, these were probably large-bodied animals. Hammerhead sharks as a whole will feed on a wide variety of prey. These partly blocked ultraviolet light, leaving the skin under the filter paler than the skin that had been exposed to the sun. Hammerhead sharks’ eyes are on the sides of their heads, so they have nearly a 360-degree sightline. Keen-eyed observers can tell most of these guys apart by the slight differences in their skull shapes. Hammerhead sharks are the 9 extant species of sharks belonging to Sphyrnidae family, typically characterized by a flattened head resembling a hammer. Their heads are laterally flattened and extended to form a ‘cephalofoil’ or ‘hammer’ shape which they are named after. More About Hammerhead Sharks There are nine species of hammerhead sharks worldwide. But testing confirmed that Omaha's baby bonnethead had no paternal DNA; the mother had reproduced by fertilizing her own egg cells, a phenomenon known as parthenogenesis. In 2010, geneticists at the University of Colorado, Boulder compared DNA samples from eight hammerhead species in an attempt to map out the family’s evolutionary history. The largest species is … 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. They have disproportionately small mouths and seem to do a lot of bottom-hunting. That means hammerheads have superior depth perception when compared to other sharks. Experts aren’t sure if the sharks go out of their way to eat seagrass or just swallow it accidentally while hunting small animals. Like all sharks, hammerheads have electroreceptory sensory pores called ampullae of Lorenzini, which enable them to detect electric fields, including the weak electrical impulses generated by prey, which helps them to hunt. Hammerhead Sharks are believed to be swimming the earths oceans for 20 million years? The researchers found that the binocular overlap in the hammerheads' field of vision is up to three times higher than it is in lemon and blacknose sharks—both of which have cone-shaped snouts. They can reach 3 to 20 feet in length and up to 1000 pounds in weight. An international team of scientists surprised the world by reporting that female hammerhead sharks can reproduce without males through parthenogenesis, or “virgin birth”. Like humans, hammerhead sharks are long-lived, … About Hammerhead Sharks The unique ‘hammer’ shaped head helps the shark zone in on prey by detecting the direction of a scent, and enabling it to see prey both above and below at the same time. The endangered species of hammerhead sharks include scalloped and great hammerheads. Hammerhead sharks are carnivores. These schools can have up to 100 members in them. A typical shark has eight fins on its body. Once the baby sharks are born, they are not taken care of by the parents in any way. The pups are about 2 feet long at birth. Since sharks do not have mineralized bones and rarely fossilize, their teeth alone are commonly found as fossils. It had never been documented in sharks before. Both of them are often hunted by human beings due to the expensive … Sharks also have a pair of pectoral fins, located on either side of the body just behind the head, which most species use to steer and generate lift. Watch Shark Superhighway, a PG-rated National Geographic documentary about hammerhead shark conservation. Hammerheads eyes give them better vision of surrounding areas. Fun Facts on Hammerhead Sharks! This reduces drag while also increasing the animal’s “wingspan.” Both factors enable the shark to swim more efficiently. Believe it or not, the hammerhead has the ability to sport a nice tan! Wingheads live in the Indo-Pacific, where their oddly-shaped heads make them prone to getting tangled up in fishing nets. Unique Traits Their wide-set eyes give them a … They will also squid, octopus, crustaceans and other sharks. It was previously believed that sharks reproduced only sexually. Hammerheads are usually gray-brown to olive-green on top. The Great Hammerhead shark weighs around 1,000 pounds. What did the earliest hammerheads look like? Hammerhead sharks are carnivores. Hammerhead shark facts for kids are coming in our education group of facts for kids to learn more about the world and the whole universe. They are called  hammerheads as their head has two extended lobes, and it looks like a hammer. Hammerhead Sharks Behavior Female sharks give birth to litters of 30 or so pups, and there is a gestation period of approximately ten months. There are 10 species of hammerhead shark. Not only does the hammer at as an organ of balance, but its body seems to be specifically designed to twist and bend. Make your own origami shark with a piece of paper and a few simple folds. They live in warm coastal waters in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They are typically olive, bronze or light brown in color with a white belly, and on average reach a length of 13 feet. At night time though they go to find food and they do that on their own. Experts have identified 10 living shark species in the hammerhead family (although it’s possible that even more exist). DIET AND FEEDING HABITS The great hammerhead is a fierce predator with a good sense of smell that helps it find its prey. Hammerhead sharks August 6, 2017 August 5, 2017 admintag It is not a secret for anyone that the sharks are the most dangerous inhabitants of the seas and oceans. The hammerhead family ranges from dark brown to grey on their dorsal side and have a grey or white belly, sometimes even olive in colour which performs as a sort of camouflage while hunting. 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 shark species can be as short as 3 feet and as long as 19.7 feet. In adults-only groups, the fish tend to disperse at night before meeting back up during the day. A small percentage of the population, mostly or all females, are much larger. Hammerhead sharks are olive-green to gray-brown in color on their tops. If a stingray is found just above the ocean floor, a hungry great hammerhead will use its cephalofoil to pin the creature against the sand. The positioning of the eyes, mounted on the sides of the shark’s distinctive hammer head, gives the shark good 360° vision in the vertical plane, meaning they can see above and below them at all times. The most popular species are the great h… Hammerhead sharks are widely distributed in tropical and temperate marine waters near the coasts and above the continental shelves. The average great hammerhead measures up to 3.5 m (11 ft) long and weighs over 230 kg (510 lb). Hammerhead Shark Facts for Kids Hammerhead sharks can grow up to a length of 20 feet and weigh around 1,000 pounds. Interesting Hammerhead shark Facts: Size of the hammerhead shark depends on the species. Interesting Facts About the Hammerhead Shark. Hammerhead shark species can weigh as little as 6.6 pounds and as much as 1,300 pounds. They also argued that today’s modestly-sized bonnethead and winghead sharks independently evolved from big ancestors. They are typically olive, bronze or light brown in color with a white belly, and on average reach a length of 13 feet. And that has a big effect on how these animals move. Like many other species of shark the hammerhead shark is a solitary hunter during the night, but during the daytime hammerhead sharks are known to form schools of up to 100 hammerhead shark individuals. Hammerhead sharks have a distinctive and unusual head structure. Hammerhead Shark Frenzy. It’s thought that after a hammerhead rolls sideways, the creature’s first dorsal fin acts like one of the pectoral fins. Relative to its body size, the winghead shark has the widest head of any hammerhead—almost half as wide as its body is long. Interesting Hammerhead shark Facts: Size of the hammerhead shark depends on the species. Interesting facts about hammerhead sharks. In 2009, biologist Michelle McComb and her team captured live bonnetheads, winghead sharks, and scalloped hammerheads to test their vision. Like all sharks, the Hammerhead sharks have electrolocation (use of electrical impulses) sensory pores called ‘ampullae of Lorenzini’ (special sensing organs, forming a network of jelly-filled canals found on cartilaginous fishes). Hammerhead Shark Behavior. Hammerhead sharks are also threatened by culling through lethal shark control programs. Fact 1: The length of a Hammerhead shark varies greatly. A hammerhead shark is any of the ten species that make up the Sphyrnidae family. Your email address will not be published. Here are some facts about Hammerhead sharks. 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. Hammerhead sharks can be found in warm waters worldwide. They are one of rare marine animals that can get nice tan. The scalloped hammerhead isn’t the only species which creates schools: The smooth hammerhead (Sphyrna zygaena) also travels in groups. Fun facts for kids help increase awareness and understanding of these one-of-a-kind carnivores. 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. Also the hammer-like shape of the head may have evolved (at least in part) to enhance the animal’s vision. In addition, these Diet: In 2001, a bonnethead was born inside one of the aquariums at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. It is not known why they group, but apparently, the practice provides them protection against larger predators. Costa Rica Hammerhead Sharks - 7 facts you may not know about this magnificent shark found in large numbers around Costa Rica Isla del Cocos FUN FACT The scientific genus name of most hammerhead sharks is Sphyrna, which comes from the Greek word for hammer. 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 “Hammer” Head – The uniquely shaped head that all hammerhead sharks share is called a cephalofoil. The scalloped bonnethead (Sphyrna corona) is the smallest species of hammerhead shark, measures up to 92 centimeters (36 inches) long. They attached recording devices right below the sharks’ corneas and monitored the fishes' eye movements while sweeping light beams across their faces. One theory is that the wide expanse of head allows for a broader spread of this sensory organ. Divers have little trouble recognizing a hammerhead when they see one. Here are some facts about Hammerhead sharks. Interesting facts about hammerhead sharks. It is a rare, little-known species of hammerhead shark. Hammerhead sharks have white bellies and olive green or grey-brownish back. On an average basis, the hammerhead shark ranges from 1m to 6m+, with the largest being the Great Hammerhead. Great hammerhead sharks have a notch in the center of their head, which is known as a cephalofoil. 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. A 2002 experiment seemingly lent credence to this notion. 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. Either way, the bonnethead now qualifies as the only omnivorous shark known to science. Great hammerhead sharks have a very tall, curved first dorsal fin … “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. The behavior may have something to do with their migration patterns or mating habits [PDF]. 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. There are nine different species of hammerhead shark, and each has its own unique traits and adaptations. The great and the scalloped hammerheads are listed on the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN) 2008 Red List as endangered, whereas the smalleye hammerhead is listed as vulnerable. The cephalofoil has a gentle curve in juvenile sharks but becomes straight as the shark ages. The heaviest known great hammerhead is a 4.4 m (14 ft) long, 580 kg (1,280 lb) female caught off Boca Grande, Florida in 2006. Great hammerhead sharks have a very wide head with an eye at either end. But, attacks to humans are extremely rare. These sharks' broad, flat, hammer-shaped heads are called cephalofoils, and no other creature in the world has a head quite like it. Most of the members are gray in color and have some greenish tint with white bellies. The reproductive process is still quite a mystery in the scientific communities. Hammerhead sharks have never been involved in a fatal incident. Hammerhead sharks travel in schools during the day time and hunt alone at night. Facts about Hammerhead Sharks 4: the bottom of the ocean Hammerhead sharks will stalk their prey by spending the time at the ocean bottom. Hammerheads are found worldwide in warmer waters along coastlines and continental shelves. The hammerhead shark is well known for its ability to make very sudden and sharp turns. It’s a myth that sharks don’t get cancer, but young scalloped hammerheads appear to develop cancer-free suntans. They can range in weight from 3 to 550 kg. Unlike humans, the mother gives birth to 20 to 50 live pups at once. Hammerhead shark species can weigh as little as 6.6 pounds and as much as 1,300 pounds. Your email address will not be published. While most species of sharks are loners, the Hammerhead Sharks swim in schools during the daylight hours. 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. They feed on fish, smaller sharks, squid, octopus, crabs, and lobsters . Endangered Species Act. 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. Hammerhead Sharks Facts Facts about Hammerhead Sharks 7: the endangered species. During the summer, hammerheads participate in a mass migration to search for cooler waters. In years with warm El Niño conditions, hammerhead sharks may range many hundreds of kilometres farther than normal. Interesting facts about hammerhead sharks, read All 4 Diving Liveaboards blog on the most easily recognised species with their distinctive shaped heads. The cephalofoil laterally project outwards, thus giving the shark the hammerhead shape, and as a sensory or… The three occupants of the tank were all females who were captured as babies and had never been introduced to a male in captivity, which is what prompted the curiosity. Required fields are marked *. Some schools are exclusively made up of females while others contain sharks of both sexes and different ages. If their secret is ever unlocked, it could revolutionize the way we treat melanoma in human beings. 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. This happens because hammerheads are often cruising in shallow water or near the surface for extended periods of time. Hammerhead sharks can be found in warm waters worldwide. 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 more—form schools. Their heads help improve movement and hunting ability. The molecular evidence suggested that the hammerheads started to diversify around 20 million years ago. Hammerhead sharks are consummate predators that use their oddly shaped heads to improve their ability to find prey. The shark's eye placement, on each end … 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. Hammerhead sharks are carnivorous and eat a variety of fish, although stingrays are the preferred prey. Stingrays are widely hunted as a favorite food. Physical Features The unique traits and physical features of hammerhead sharks serve several purposes and look pretty cool. There are nine species of this shark found all around the world. Is there any fish in the world that casts a more distinctive shadow? These baby sharks huddle together and swim toward warmer water until they are old enough and large enough to survive on their own. "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. At first, it seemed likely that the mother must have been storing sperm; females of many animal species can keep semen alive for years before using it to fertilize eggs. Great hammerhead shark. Researchers from Ireland and the United States performed genetic tests on a baby hammerhead born in an Omaha, Nebraska aquarium in 2001. Usually, a litter consists of 12 to 15 pups, except for the great hammerhead, which gives birth to litters of 20 to 40 pups. According to DNA studies, the ancestor of the hammerheads probably lived in the Miocene epoch about 20 million years ago. Some scientists have theorized that the hammer-like shape of the head may have evolved to enhance the shark’s vision. 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. The young sharks probably travel in schools for mutual protection, but nobody knows why full-grown scalloped hammerheads, which have few natural predators, congregate like this. In the majority of sharks, the pectoral fins are longer than the first dorsal—but for great hammerheads, the opposite is true. Find the answers to all your burning questions about hammerhead sharks with simple facts about these weird-looking animals. Although the researchers didn’t find a difference in sensitivity to the electric fields between a hammerhead and a cone-nosed sandbar shark, the hammerhead was able to search a larger area, which the researchers say would “increase the probability of prey-encounter.” The researchers also noted that the hammerhead was more maneuverable than the sandbar shark. These fish are diverse, they’re weird, and someday they might change the way we fight skin cancer. The longest great hammerhead on record was 6.1 m (20 ft). Hammerhead sharks have white bellies and olive green or grey-brownish back. It hunts crabs and shrimp—and sometimes it also ingests seagrass. The fossil record tells us sharks have existed for at least 420 million years—so if the University of Colorado team is correct, hammerheads are relative newcomers on the world stage. Hammerheads, like all other sharks, have sensory organs that can detect the electric fields of prey in the water; some scientists hypothesize that the broad cephalofoils allow hammerheads to have more of these organs—therefore allowing them to better sense prey. Although sharks have a reputation as destructive beasts that attack almost anything that enters their water habitat, the actual number of shark attacks is probably lower than you imagine. A hammerhead shark uses its wide head to trap stingrays by pinning them to the seafloor. The great hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran) is the largest species of hammerhead shark. The status given to these sharks is as a result of overfishing and demand for their fins, an expensive delicacy. While being monitored, the sharks spent 90 percent of their swimming time tilted to one side—usually at an angle of 50 to 75 degrees. Nine belong to the genus Sphyrna (Greek for "hammer"), while the other—an oddball called the winghead shark—is the sole member of its own genus, Eusphyra. Hammerhead sharks take advantage of their wide, flat heads to pin down stingrays and other bottom dwelling fish before delivering a fatal bite. Hammerhead Shark Facts for Kids: Want to Interesting facts about hammerhead sharks?.. 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. They hunt down the prey using the unique head. Probably the most recognizable is the first dorsal fin; it typically acts like a sailboat keel, helping the shark stay balanced while it swims. Hammerhead sharks can swim up to 25 km/h (15 mph). Researchers noticed that when young scalloped hammerheads are kept in shallow outdoor pools, their skin darkened, going from a light beige to a rich chocolate brown. 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. Their bellies are white which allows them to blend into the ocean when viewed from the bottom and sneak up on their prey. Then, with a bite to the pectoral fin (or “wing”), the prey is immobilized. 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. Learn more about these interesting creatures below. All hammerhead sharks are viviparous – a female gives birth to live young that grow inside the female shark, similar to humans. And in a 2017 experiment, captive bonnetheads were fed a 90 percent seagrass diet. 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). Hammerhead Sharks are known for their unique shape of their head, which is flattened and elongated and passes the sides of its body. Hammerhead sharks are one of the most distinctive-looking sea creatures thanks to their wide, t-shaped heads. The great hammerhead shark is the largest hammerhead species. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 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 … Of the 10 species of hammerhead, only three are known to be particularly dangerous to humans: the scalloped, great, and smooth hammerheads. Great hammerhead sharks are viviparous (give birth to live young). Hammerhead Sharks are Viviparous, which means pups grow inside the female shark, similar to humans. 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. The genetic tests proved that there was no “DNA of male origin” in the baby hammerhead. It is used as a weapon. 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. 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. Hammerhead sharks are some of the strangest looking animals on this Earth. The gestation period for a female shark is about 11 months, and 6-42 pups are born live. The hammerhead with its strangely shaped head is somewhat of a mystery although scientists have recently discovered that the odd shape improves their … Mouth of hammerhead sharks is located on the underside of the head. A 2016 tagging study attached GoPro cameras to five great hammerheads that were living out in the wild. But the shark doesn't always escape unscathed: Great hammerheads are often found with stingray barbs on their faces. 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). Why’d they do this? FUN FACT The scientific genus name of most hammerhead sharks is Sphyrna, which comes from the Greek word for hammer. The bonnethead (Sphyrna tiburo) is a small hammerhead that frequents warm, shallow waters. The lifespan of hammerhead sharks is estimated to be 25 to 35 years. Hammerhead sharks are silver-grey to grey-brown in colour with white undersides. Scalloped hammerhead Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Chondrichthyes Order: Carcharhiniformes Family: Sphyrnidae T. N. 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