Great hammerhead shark it the largest shark of all hammerhead species. Not only that, but this shark also has a quite unusual appearance, too! The shape of its “hammer”, wide with an almost straight front margin, gives the shark such a powerful name! However, there is much more to know about this interesting shark, so let’s start, shall we?
Where can we find the great hammerhead shark?
This apex predator is found worldwide in coastal, warm waters. Occurring in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific ocean, our shark is everywhere, from North Carolina to Uruguay, Morocco to Senegal, Australia, etc. Moreover, our friend can be found both in inshore, as well as offshore waters. Thus, the depth varies from only 3,3 to even 80 feet. Although favoring coral reefs, our predator will live on continental shelves, island terraces, lagoons, and deep water near the land as well.
How does the great hammerhead shark look?
The streamlined body of the great hammerhead with the expanded cephalofoil is typical of this species. Did you know the width of the hammer is around 25% of the body length? Naturally, the teeth are extremely sharp and strongly serrated, becoming more oblique towards the corners of the mouth. The great hammerhead is dark brown to light gray to olive above, fading to white on the underside. Being the largest one, this predator grows up to 11 feet, weighing over 510 pounds.
Hunting and diet.
When it comes to feeding, this beast will eat anything it catches. For starters, it will eat invertebrates such as crabs, lobsters, squid, and octopus. Further, a variety of bony fishes, including sardines, sea catfishes, toadfish, grunts, and more. Finally, the shark will eat rays, skates, and stingrays, but other sharks as well! Not surprisingly, it is known to be cannibalistic.
Unlike other sharks, which mate near the sea bottom, hammerheads have been observed mating near the surface. Females breed once every two years, giving birth from late spring to summer, or in December, depending on the location. After a gestation period of 11 months, the mother gives birth to 6 to 55 pups. The young differ from the adults in having a rounded frontal margin on the head. Naturally, these baby predators are immediately ready for action.
Did you know the heaviest great hammerhead shark ever recorded was 991 pounds?
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