Hammerhead shark information
The hammerhead shark is one of the most characteristic fish. The shape of his head, which resembles a hammer, makes it recognizable throughout the world. But unfortunately that only happens because people see them in cartoons, in movies, in documentaries, in photographs, books … but in reality, there are very few that remain, it would almost be impossible for you if you wanted to see one live, and is that it was added to the list of endangered species. If you do not take action right now it could go away.
Hammerhead shark information and characteristics
The hammerhead shark or Sphyrnidae is a species of shark that lives in almost all oceans, in warm or warm waters, mainly in coastal areas. There are 9 known species of hammerhead shark, whose size can vary, approximately, from the meter in length, to the 6 meters that the giant hammerhead shark or Sphyrna mokarran can measure.
But, undoubtedly, what makes this animal famous and special is the protuberance they have in the nose and that gives it its name of Shark “hammer”, since it is similar to a kind of mallet. Hammerhead sharks have a much more expanded nose than other sharks, as well as much more separated eyes, which gives them a very special appearance.
Another of its most curious features is that hammerhead sharks are provided with 7 senses. In addition to touch, hearing, smell, sight and taste, hammerhead sharks also have a sense that allows them to detect waves of frequency caused by the movement of fish, and another that allows them to detect electric fields, to find hidden prey or buried in the seabed.
Undoubtedly, it is one of the most impressive animals in the world, and a real attraction for human beings, both to exhibit it in aquariums and to trade with its fin. A real misfortune for them that man has had to put his eyes on him.
Physical description of the hammerhead shark
One of the first physical characteristics that evidently stand out in the hammerhead shark is the T-shaped head, as I have already mentioned, a protuberance that makes it known as the hammerhead shark. The reason for this is unknown, apart from all kinds of studies and that have only reached the conclusion that evolved in this way so that the position of the eyes improves the vision of the animal.
Certainly, what stands out most in the hammerhead shark is that it has a 360 ° vision, that is, that they can see above and below them at the same time. This ability allows them to find their food. The hammerhead shark has a structure of the vertebrae that allows effective movements when it comes to getting its food, and looking for it.
Other physical characteristics, for example, are that they have the “nostrils” at the tip of the extension of the head as well as their large eyes at the ends. In comparison to its head, the mouth is relatively small although it is endowed with serrated teeth and it is located just in the center of the bottom part of the head.
They also have 2 dorsal fins, the first larger than the other. In addition, its body has a counter-coloration useful for camouflage with the sea bottom, because while the ventral region is of a clear tone, the dorsal area has a light gray or greenish color.
Its size usually ranges between 0.9 and 6 meters in length, and its weight is between 300 and 580 kilograms.
Hammerhead shark habitat
Later we are going to talk about this animal that is actually in danger of extinction but the truth is that you can still find different species of hammerhead sharks in warm and tropical waters of almost the whole world, either along lines coastal as well as continental shelves.
Some specimens have been seen in the mesopelagic zone, reaching up to 80 meters deep. Its most common habitats are usually the reefs of shallow seas and occasionally visit brackish waters so it is somewhat complicated to find them aggravating then the fact that many fishermen go in search only to kill them and thus get their fins.
What does the hammerhead shark eat?
The hammerhead shark is a carnivorous animal and usually feeds on a wide variety of prey. Its diet includes bony fish, squid, octopus, crustaceans although its favorite food is the rays. Occasionally they practice cannibalism.
They are animals that usually hunt alone when it comes to getting food. Through its organs of electroreception and its head can detect and catch streaks that hide in the sand at the bottom.
The reproduction of the hammerhead shark
The hammerhead shark is a viviparous species that give birth to live offspring. They usually reproduce once a year, through internal fertilization and the number of offspring that a female has usually varies in relation to its size. The more weight and length you have, the more offspring you will have.
When they have to mate, the male of a group takes a female and there introduces a clasper in the oviduct and thus transfers his sperm. When pregnant, the female carries the young inside for 8-10 months and is fed through the yolk sac. Subsequently, 12-50 pups of 18 centimeters in length and soft, rounded head are born. The young do not receive parental care, but they often group together in the warmer waters, where they stay until they have developed a little more and can fend for themselves.
The behavior of the hammerhead shark
In spite of being an animal that is usually seen alone and that actually goes out to hunt in solitude, it is a species that lives in groups or “schools” in which up to 500 members are included. In these groups, each shark is part of the social structure in which they divide and which determines their dominance within the group.
According to size, age and sex, the hammerhead shark is established within its own group hierarchy, where it remains all day until nightfall. It is unknown why they are grouped but it seems to be, that they do so in order to protect themselves from larger predators that will not attack them, if they see them all living together.
In spite of this behavior, some species of hammerhead sharks usually make migratory movements during the summer when they go to waters that are colder. In addition some species coexist better in deeper waters while others do not like them so much.
The hammerhead shark is considered a dangerous fish for the human being although in reality, they are not especially aggressive. Most hammerhead sharks are very small and harmless.
The man usually goes hunting and fishing to get not only his meat, but also his fins, which tend to be quite valuable on the black market.
The hammerhead shark, on the red list of endangered species
The hammerhead shark joins the list of animals in danger of extinction and, if something is not done soon, it will swell the list of species that have disappeared from the planet. The main danger, as always, is the unconsciousness of the human being, who fishes indiscriminately to get his fin, only his fin, which is considered a delicacy.
It is not the only shark in danger of extinction; tiger sharks and bull sharks have also joined the Red List of the World Conservation Association.
Hammerheads can grow about four meters long. And they have a habit that makes it easier to fish, and they tend to swim in groups, and usually congregate in specific areas such as the Galapagos Islands and Costa Rica. The fishing boats just ram against them, collide with a pack and cut their fins, then. With it they make a soup that is famous in the Asian continent. The rest of the shark’s body … they leave it lying there, its flesh has no value.
It is believed that only in the US coast the hammerhead shark population has decreased by 98% since 1970, while the other shark species have decreased by 95%. And the problem is that there are no restrictions on carrying out this activity in international waters.
In this case we have focused on the hammerhead shark, but there are many other emblematic species that are also in danger of extinction, as you can see in the following section.