15+ Interesting Facts About Hammerhead Sharks

  1. Hammerhead sharks are named so because of the unusual hammer-shaped structure of their head. Their eyes are placed at the sides of their head.
  2. In 2007, scientists found a female hammerhead shark giving birth without mating. It was the first known instance of asexual reproduction in any shark. (Source)
  3. Hammerhead sharks are unique among marine animals as they get sun tanning. Sun tanning among marine animals was seen initially in hammerhead sharks. (Source)
  4. Hammerhead sharks have a strange behavior of swimming sideways. This type of swimming proves the most energy-efficient for them. They use nearly 10% less energy by swimming sideways instead of upright swimming. (Source)
  5. Hammerhead sharks initially appeared on earth around 20 million years ago. These sharks live for around 30 years on average. (Source)
  6. The visual field of each eye of the hammerhead shark is 180 degrees. Their eyes also have excellent depth perception. (Source)
    Scalloped bonnethead shark
    Scalloped bonnethead is the smallest species of hammerhead sharks

  7. There are 10 known species of hammerhead sharks. The Great Hammerhead is the largest that can reach up to 20 feet (6 meters). The smallest species is the scalloped bonnethead, with a maximum length of 3 feet (1 meter).
  8. The Great Hammerhead and scalloped hammerhead are the two species of this shark declared Endangered by the IUCN. Smooth hammerhead is vulnerable in that list. Commercial fishing and shark culling are two main threats to hammerhead sharks.
  9. Hammerhead is one of the least dangerous species of sharks for humans. Only 17 attacks by hammerhead sharks have been reported on humans in the last 450 years. All of these attacks were non-fatal. (Source)
  10. Great hammerhead sharks are solitary. They may migrate alone for a distance of more than 1,200 km (756 miles).
  11. Hammerhead sharks are present in warm waters around coastlines and continental shelves worldwide. 
  12. Many species of hammerhead sharks swim in schools (groups) during the daytime. It is a unique behavior because several other sharks are solitary creatures.
  13. Hammerhead sharks can swim at a speed of up to 25 mph. They are also capable of taking sharp turns and twisting their bodies at fast speeds.
  14. The food of hammerhead sharks contains squid, octopuses, crustaceans, and other sharks. But their favorite meal is stingrays. They can easily avoid the venomous sting of stingrays by using their unique head and powerful jaws.
  15. Bonnethead sharks, a species of hammerhead shark, is the only known omnivore shark. This shark eats seagrass and can also digest it. It is also the only species of hammerhead shark listed as “least concern” on the IUCN Red List. (Source)
  16. The width of head of the winghead shark (a hammerhead shark species) is nearly half of its total body length.
  17. Hammerheads are one of few viviparous sharks that give birth to live young.


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