Cool things about the hammerhead shark

One of nature's unique creations - the hammerhead shark
One of nature’s unique creations – the hammerhead shark

The hammerhead sure is an intriguing animal! Here are some things you might not know about him:

  1. Stating the obvious

One of nature’s weirder-looking creatures, it’s not hard to see how the hammerhead shark got his name. His scientific name is Sphyrnidae.

2. Shark vision

Scientists believe that this shark’s unique head helps improve his hunting skills. His eyes are placed on the outer edges of the hammer, which allows for a 360-degree view – therefore he can see better than other kinds of shark. He has a blind spot though, because of the placement of his eyes, directly in front of his head!

3. Catching some sun

Even though he lives in the water, the hammerhead is one of few animals who can get suntanned! This happens because he likes to wade in shallow water or near the surface of the ocean for long periods of time.

4. Different shapes and sizes

There are nine different species of hammerhead shark. Most of them have similar-shaped heads (the head is called the cephalofoil) – except for the scoophead, bonnethead and scalloped bonnethead sharks. These three sharks’ heads more closely resemble the end of a shovel than a hammer.

5. Super senses

While swimming around in the ocean the hammerhead might look rather expressionless, but he is very aware of what is going on around him. The hammerhead can pick up vibrations with his electroreceptors: tiny, sensitive organs that identify currents in the water. For example, a hammerhead shark will be able to feel the heartbeat of a human who is located several kilometres away.

  • Get your February 2016 copy of Animaltalk to read more about the hammerhead shark!

Want to read more? Click here for 10 cool things about the giraffe, and here for 10 cool things about the fish eagle.


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