Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Great Hammerhead Shark

Sphyrna mokarran
Great Hammerheads are one of the many species of Hammerhead shark. They also happen to be the largest, hence the name.

These Sharks have a massive range and can be found swimming in tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide. They also migrate seasonally, chasing the cooler waters during the summer months. Great Hammerheads live mostly near coasts, and are not typically found at depths of greater than 300m.

Unlike many of the other Hammerhead species, Great hammerheads are solitary hunters. Stingrays are their favorite prey, but they also feed on bony fish and Cephalopods. Cannibalism has also been documented, as have attacks on humans.

Interestingly, Great Hammerheads give birth to live young. After an 11 month gestational period, the female will give birth to as many as 40 pups!

Illegal fishing, both targeted and bycatch, has hurt Great Hammerhead numbers in some areas. They are currently listed as Endangered by the IUCN.

IUCN Status : Endangered
Location : Tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide
Size : Length up to 11.5ft (3.5m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Chondrichthyes -- Order : Carcharhiniformes
Family : Sphyrnidae -- Genus : Sphyrna -- Species : S. mokarran

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