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Hammerhead Shark illustration

Hammerhead Shark

World Record ~  991 Lbs Caught at Sarasota, FL on May 30, 1982 by angler Allen Ogle

Scientific name ~  Sphyrna Mokarran

Other names ~ Great Hammerhead, Great Hammerhead Shark, and Squat-headed Hammerhead Shark

Identification ~ The dorsal side of the great hammerhead is dark brown to light gray or even olive in color fading to white on the underside. The fins lack markings in adults while the apex of the second dorsal fin may appear dusky in juveniles. The Great Hammerhead is a very large shark with the characteristic hammer-shaped head from which it gets its common name. The font margin of the head is nearly straight with a shallow notch in the center in adult Great Hammerheads.

Size ~  As the largest of the Hammerheads, the Great Hammerhead averages over 500 pounds. The largest reported length of a great hammerhead is 20 feet. Expected life span of this species is approximately 20-30 years of age. These Sharks are exceptionally strong and can make fast long runs. They fight hard and thrash about.

Habitat ~ The Great Hammerhead is found worldwide in coastal warm temperate and tropical waters within 40N - 37S latitude. This large coastal/semi-oceanic shark is found far offshore to depths of 900 feet as well as in shallow coastal areas such as over continental shelves and lagoons. The great hammerhead migrates seasonally, moving poleward to cooler waters during the summer months.

Feeding Habits ~ Great hammerheads are active predators, preying upon a wide variety of marine organisms, from invertebrates to bony fishes and sharks. A favorite prey item is the stingray, which is consumed along with the tail spine! Invertebrate prey include crabs, squid, octopus, and lobsters while commonly consumed bony fish are groupers, catfishes, jacks, grunts, and flatfishes.

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