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These sharks have tool related names due to their appearences.

Hammerhead Sharks


Winghead - Eusphyra biochii
Scalloped Hammerhead - Sphyrna lewini
Great Hammerhead - Sphyrna mokarran
Bonnethead Shark - Sphyrna tiburo
Smooth Hammerhead - Sphyrna zygaena

Sphyrnidae: Hammerhead Sharks


Photo Courtesy of: Carl Roessler  

As you can see there are many different types of Hammerheads. They range in categories from harmless to dangerous. Among the harmless fall the Winghead Shark and the Bonnethead Shark. Both are non-aggressive and common year round night and day in their areas of the ocean.

The Smooth Hammerhead is considered to be possibly dangerous. Also possibly dangerous is the Scalloped Hammerhead which is considered to be non-aggressive.

The Great Hammerhead is considered dangerous with a few recorded attacks.

Hammerheads uniquely shaped head with it's wide flattened shape enable it to be a more efficient swimmer by providing efficiency. They can quickly capture large or elusive pray. Their head's shape also makes for some interesting approaches to feeding. For an example, the Great Hammerhead will use the sides of it's head to pin rays to the ocean floor. It is then able to rotate it's head to the side to bite the ray's wing and continues to circle, feeding until the ray is consumed.

Each species of hammerhead has it's own particular tastes in food ranging from rays and skates to bony fishes such as herring and even small sharks.

Interesting fact... During their breeding season large schools of hammerhead (numbering in the hundreds) have been seen migrating together. In this school there appears to be a maintained order of dominance which is structured by the dominant females.

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Pristiophorus cirratus

Pristiophoridae: Sawsharks

Sketch of a Sawshark Copyright K. Cathleen Lengyel 2005

Common Sawsharks are often confused with the Sawfish which is a freshwater ray. They are considered to be harmless, unless they are provoked. Quite common, they can be found year round in waters near Southern Australia to mid-Western Australia. These
sharks have five gills on the sides of it's head. (A sawfishes gills are underneath.) They have a slender flattened body shape with a very recognizable saw-like snout with a pair
of barbels.

They seem to prefer deeper water and divers can find them on the ocean's sandy floor. They use their barbels by dragging them on the ocean floor to assist them in finding their prey: small bony fish. They also use their snout to stir up the sediment rousing their prey so they can strike it.

Interesting fact... The Common Sawshark can live more than 15 years. It carries anywhere from 3-22 pups during a 12 gestation. Pups are born in shallow coastal area.

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Scoliodon laticaudus

Carcharhinidae: Requiem Sharks

Spadenose Shark
Photo Courtesy of : Dave's Shark Photos (No longer online)

Considered harmless, Spadenose Sharks prefer rocky substrates of coastal waters and lower reaches of tropical rivers preferring brackish waters. It is uncertain, if this species can live in fresh water for extended periods.

The Spadenose's preferred diet consists of small bony fishes, shrimp, crustaceans and cuttlefish. It's a small coastal shark preferring rocky substrates of coastal waters and
lower reaches of tropical rivers.

They can be found in the regions of the Indo-West Pacific.

Interesting fact... The Spadenose Shark is viviparous producing litter sizes that vary from 5 to 14 pups.

Shark button linked to main school page.

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Graphic of a shark swimming in coral.

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