Hanging Out With Hammerheads

posted: 04/11/12
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Hammerheads are some of the most infamous sharks haunting the oceans' waters. Different species sport slightly different head shapes, but all are stretched to one degree or another, with an eye at each end. They may look odd, but those stretched-out heads give hammerheads killer eyesight, and they're crammed with other top-notch sensory organs. First up are ampullae of Lorenzini, named after their discoverer, which are capable of electroreception. Added to that are special grooves that efficiently channel water to each nostril, enhancing hammerheads' olfactory abilities and giving them a real talent for snooping out scents.

Although most hammerheads are harmless to people, larger species like the great hammerheads are both unpredictable and ferocious. Even though they usually won't take a bite out of a person unless provoked, it's still a good idea to steer clear. Hammerheads aren't terribly picky eaters; they've reportedly even eaten each other, although they seem to prefer rays as their delicacy of choice.

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