Smooth Hammerhead Shark

Discovery

Overview — Striking in appearance, the smooth hammerhead shark prefers warm, temperate waters near the surface. It also often likes to be inshore, so water sports enthusiasts may spot its ominous-looking tail and dorsal fin sticking out of the water. Underneath the surface lies what is perhaps this fish’s most unusual feature: its hammer-shaped head flanked on either side by two large eyes.

Widely distributed, this is one of the few shark species that is not currently endangered. It is most commonly found off the coasts of the North Atlantic and in the Indian Ocean.

Feeding Habits — Certain photographs of the smooth hammerhead shark provide an eerie hint of its feeding methods. Due to its white coloration near the mouth, red blood sometimes can be seen smeared across its face. That is because this fish may consume animals and even other sharks, including members of its own species. Triangle-shaped, smooth teeth can pierce through numerous types of flesh. Most frequently, however, this shark will consume schooling fish that may include herring and menhaden.

Cool Fact — Smooth hammerhead sharks have a keen sense of hearing that allows them to hear low frequency vibrations, such as those that might be made by a wounded fish.

Common Max Depth — 65 feet

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