The Hammerhead with a different purpose


The electro receptacle

We can’t talk about the Hammerhead shark without first addressing the purpose of its namesake. The answer to this strange, hammer shaped head, is that it makes the hammerhead more sensitive to electrical signals given off by their favourite prey; sting rays. Others say that the shape of the head allows the eyes to be positioned in a way which improves their eyesight.

In fact there are 10 different species of hammerhead, all apart of the family Sphyrnidae. Only four of the hammerhead species are commonly known; the great hammerhead, the smooth hammerhead, scalloped bonnethead hammerhead (love it!) and the scalloped hammerhead. Both the scalloped hammerhead and the great hammerhead are listed as endangered by the IUCN redlist and the other two hammerhead species I have listed are classified as vulnerable. This is due to overfishing, illegal trade and trophy hunting.

The hammerhead shark does not only use its electro detector head to find its favourite rays to chomp on. It also uses them to search for bony fish, crustaceans, octopus and squid hiding from them under the sandy floor. They search for their meals on reefs and In Brackish waters, along continental shelves and coastal lines.

How would you like to enrol in a 500 strong hammerhead school?

Hammerheads give birth to live young (so are viviparous) once a year. They give birth to 20 -50 pups, who are then left to fend for each other until they are old enough to take care of themselves. Once they are old enough to leave behind their brothers and sisters the hammerhead then go and join schools. Like humans they attend school during the day and then go off and have time to themselves at night. Unlike with humans, hammerheads  are thought to do this as protection from predators. Hammerhead sharks are not aggressive towards humans, but due to their power and size they are considered dangerous. Though they haven’t been known to attack a human unprovoked. So just respect their space and everyone will be happy.

Again reader, I thank you very much for reading my post and I hope you enjoyed learning about the hammerhead family with me. Next time I will be blogging about the jaws effect.


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