Animals / Fishes - All Types of Fish Species / Chimaeras, Sharks, Skates and Rays / Smooth Hammerhead Shark - Wide Distribution, Shallow Waters

Smooth Hammerhead Shark - Wide Distribution, Shallow Waters

smooth hammerhead shark head


The second largest of all hammerhead sharks, the smooth hammerhead can be found with a length of up to 16 ft (5 m) long and a weight of up to 880 lbs (400 kg). The smooth hammerhead's ability to survive in temperate waters causes it to have a wide distribution. It can be found in the waters of Nova Scotia, the Virgin Islands, Brazil, Argentina, the British Isles, Côte d'Ivoire, the Mediterranean Sea, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka, the Gulf of Tonkin, Japan, Siberia, Australia, New Zealand, the Hawaiian Islands, California, Panama, the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and Chile.



smooth hammerhead shark school


smooth hammerhead shark


The smooth hammerhead, like all hammerheads, gets its name from the distinctive flat and wide shape of it head (its cephalofoil), but it's “smooth” because the head lacks any sort of indent. It's not known exactly what purpose the shape of the head serves.

Unlike other hammerheads, the smooth variety will generally stay in waters no more than 66 ft (20 m) deep; this makes them more likely to be caught by fishing boats, who lure them for there valuable fins. In these shallower waters, it preys upon bony fish, rays, other sharks (including its own species), cephalopods, crustaceans, crabs, barnacles, shrimp, stingrays, seabass, herring, Spanish mackerel, menhaden, pilchard, squid, and in the rare occurrence one ends up in their cold waters, humans. Despite not being averse to eating its own species, smooth hammerheads can be found in the summer migrating towards the poles and their cooler waters in schools numbering in thousands. Unfortunately, because of their being poached for their fins, they are a species considered vulnerable for extinction.


smooth hammerhead




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