Identity Card

LATIN NAME : Sphyrna lewini

FAMILY : Sphyrnidae

PHYLUM : Chordata

CLASS : Chondrichthyes

It is recognisable by its T-shaped head. This shark is an iconic creature of the Colombian island of Malpelo.

It lives in the open sea, close to the coast and coral reefs, between the surface and a depth of 300 metres. The hammerhead moves in large shoals.

It feeds on bony fish such as mackerels, sardines, lionfish, moray eels and groupers, but also small sharks and cephalopods. Juvenile sharks also hunt shrimps and other small crustaceans.

The scalloped hammerhead measures between 2 and 3 metres in length and weighs more than 150 kg once it has reached adulthood.

  • Distribution :

    A circumtropical species which is present in all of the world’s tropical and temperate warm seas: the Indian Ocean, the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Red Sea and even the Mediterranean.
  • IUCN Status :

    Endangered species

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Did you know ?

Find out more about the Scalloped Hammerhead

The scalloped Hammerhead is an iconic species of the island of Malpelo. This Colombian island is a meeting place for the species, a stopping point along the route of its long-distance ocean migrations.

According to a scientific study, the special shape of its head would gives this shark a 180-degree field of view and a very good ability to judge distances.. These visual capacities could explain the development of these amazing sharks.

 

30 years

It is the life expectancy of the scalloped hammerhead.

Like many other sharks, hammerheads are poached and fished for their fins, and this is leading to a big decline in their population.

This species is viviparous. At many sites, it can be observed that males and females live apart for more than 6 months. The female gives birth to between 15 and 31 juveniles measuring between 40 and 55 cm in length. The young spend the first few months of their lives in shallow lagoons and mangrove swamps, away from the adults who might eat them.

 

 

 

Credits for banner photo : © Alexis Rosenfeld – Divergence
Credits for thumbnail photo : © Thomas Tranain

 

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