Monday, July 18, 2011

Life of Great Hammerhead Shark

Life of Sea | Great Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna mokarran) | This unique sharks are also known as Squat Headed or  Hammerhead Shark. In wild, they are found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide, especially far offshore to depths of 300 m and in shallow coastal areas. You can find them in the Atlantic Ocean, all along the Indian Ocean, and in the Pacific Ocean. They migrate from poleward to cooler waters during the summer months.

Great hammerhead sharks have dark brown to light grey or even olive in color fading to white on the underside at the dorsal side. Great hammerhead sharks are very large shark. They have hammer-shaped head which  they got its name. The head is nearly straight with a shallow notch in the center in adult great hammerheads, distinguishing it from the smooth hammerhead and scalloped hammerhead. Great hammerhead sharks have eyes that located at the end of the lateral part of the head. These wide-set eyes improve their ability to see and locate their prey in the murky waters of the sea. The first dorsal fin is very tall with a pointed tip and strongly falcate in shape. The second dorsal is also high with a strongly concave rear margin. The origin of the first dorsal fin is opposite or slightly behind the pectoral fin axil with the free rear tip falling short to above the origin of the pelvic fins.

Great hammerhead sharks are active predators. They have triangular and strongly serrated teeth. Great hammerhead sharks feed invertebrates such as crabs, lobsters, squid, and octopus, bony fishes such as tarpon, sardines, sea catfishes, toadfish, porgies, grunts, jacks, croakers, groupers, flatfishes, boxfishes, and porcupine fishes, and smaller sharks such as smoothhounds. For larger sharks, they will prey on juvenile.  

Great hammerhead sharks are the largest among the hammerheads and can be as big as 20 feet or 6 meters in the length. Even they rarely attacks humans, they are still dangerous. In fact, Great hammerhead sharks are fished for its large fins, which are  valuable on the Asian market as the main ingredient of shark fin soup. As a result, great hammerhead populations are declining around the world. 

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