The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna lewini) is an elasmobranch fish with a cartilaginous skeleton in the Sphyrnidae family of hammerhead sharks. It is also known as the Bronze Hammerhead, the Kidney-Headed Hammerhead, or the Southern Hammerhead.
The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark has a hammer-shaped head, called a cephalofoil. It is light-grey with a greenish tint and a white belly. Its mouth is small. Its nostrils and eyes are located on the sides of the hammer part of its head, and not in front. This allows a full circle of vision. It can see above it, below it, and all around it. It has gill slits on the side of its body.
It grows to 200-350 centimetres (79-138 inches) in length.
The Scalloped Hammerhead is found in the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Atlantic Ocean along coastlines and continental shelves. It prefers warm, tropical waters, but often migrates to cooler waters in summer. It is the most common of all Hammerhead Sharks.
The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark eats fish (mainly sardines, mackerel, and herring), squid, octopus, stingrays, and crustaceans, such as crabs, lobsters, and shrimp. It stalks its prey at the bottom of the ocean.
The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark is usually solitary at night. During the day, it usually swims in schools of about 100 individuals.
It is viviparous, because the female gives birth to live young after a pregnancy of 270-300 days. The female has 20-40 young, called pups. The parents do not look after their pups. The pups huddle together for safety in shallow water until they are old enough to survive on their own.
Location of photographs: Aquarium de Paris-Cinéaqua, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM