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Hammerhead Shark

Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna Zygaena)Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna Zygaena)Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna Zygaena)Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna Zygaena)Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna Zygaena)
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Hammerhead Shark Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
Sphyrna Zygaena
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
3.5-6m (11.5-20ft)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
230-450kg (500-1000lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
40km/h (25mph)
How long the animal lives for
20-25 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Grey, Brown, White
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Warm waters and continental shelves
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Fish, Squid, Octopus
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Tiger Shark, Great White Shark, Killer Whale
Special Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Broad, flat head and large eyes

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Hammerhead Shark Location

Map of Hammerhead Shark Locations

Hammerhead Shark

Hammerhead Sharks are appropriately named after their flat shaped heads. Hammerhead sharks are large carnivorous fish that prey on large fish and occasionally hammerhead sharks will hunt small water mammals.

Hammerhead sharks are found in the warmer waters of oceans worldwide but hammerhead sharks are particularly found in coastal waters, and along continental shelves. The shallow waters that the hammerhead sharks inhabit allow the hammerhead shark to hunt prey more easily.

There are 9 different species of hammerhead shark worldwide, ranging from 3ft to 20ft in length! Hammerhead sharks are not commonly known to attack humans but can be aggressive if a human came into contact with a hammerhead shark.

The flat shaped head of the hammerhead shark is thought to allow the hammerhead shark to detect prey more easily, as it increases the hammerhead sharks sensitivity to sonar activity. Hammerhead sharks are thought to use sonar waves detection in a similar way to their five main senses, so it's like the hammerhead shark has a sixth sense.

The shape of the head of the hammerhead shark is made up of two projections on either side of the face of the hammerhead shark, which gives the hammerhead shark the head shape that resembles a hammer almost rectangular in shape. The eyes and nostrils of the hammerhead shark are found at the ends of the hammer allowing the hammerhead shark to have better vision and smell of the surrounding water.

Like many other species of shark the hammerhead shark is a solitary hunter during the night, but during the daytime hammerhead sharks are known to form schools of up to 100 hammerhead shark individuals. Hammerhead sharks are commonly seen in larger groups during the summer months when the hammerhead sharks are migrating together in search of cooler waters.

The great hammerhead shark is the largest species of hammerhead shark and one of the few species of hammerhead shark that is potentially dangerous to humans. This is due to the sheer size of the giant hammerhead shark and also because the giant hammerhead is known to have an aggressive temperament. Other species of hammerhead shark tend to pose little or no threat to humans as these species of hammerhead shark are generally much smaller than the giant hammerhead shark and are slightly calmer in their nature.

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First Published: 10th November 2008, Last Updated: 7th November 2019

1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]