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Table of Contents
Enchanted Learning
All About Sharks!

Geologic Time Chart
Introduction to Sharks Introduction to Rays Anatomy Shark and Ray Species Extreme Sharks Extinct Sharks Classification Shark Glossary Shark Index Printables, Worksheets, and Activities

ALL ABOUT SHARKS!
What is a Shark? Shark Information Sheets Shark Printouts to Color Evolution of Sharks Extreme Sharks

GREAT HAMMERHEAD SHARK
Sphyrna mokarran

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
The great hammerhead shark has a wide, thick head with the eyes at the margins. The head is indented at the center of the "hammer," which is almost rectangular in shape. This shark is gray-brown above with an off-white belly. The first dorsal fin (the large fin on the top of the shark that most people associate with sharks) is very large and pointed.

TEETH
Teeth are triangular with extremely serrated edges.

SIZE
The average great hammerhead shark is up to 11.5 feet (3.5 m) long. The largest reported was 20 feet (6 m) long. These large sharks average about over 500 pounds (230 kg) but can weigh as much as 1,000 pounds (450 kg).

There are 9 species of hammerhead sharks, ranging in size from about 3 feet (0.9 m) long to over 20 feet (6 m).

DIET AND FEEDING HABITS
The great hammerhead is a fierce predator with a good sense of smell that helps it find its prey. The great hammerhead eats fish, including rays, and other sharks, squid, octopuses, and crustaceans. The great hammerhead has been known to be cannibalistic.

Stingrays seem to be a particular favorite of the great hammerhead. It kills the ray by using its "hammer" to pin the stingray down while it takes bites from the ray's wings.

HAMMERHEAD SHARK ATTACKS
Many of the hammerheads are harmless to people, but a few species, like the great hammerhead, can be very dangerous.

HABITAT
The great hammerhead swims in warm and relatively warm water along the coastlines. They live over the continental shelves and the adjacent drop-off (the upper part of the mesopelagic zone) to depths of about 260 feet (80 m). DISTRIBUTION
The great hammerhead is found in tropical and sub-tropical waters worldwide.

MIGRATION
The great hammerhead migrates seasonally to cooler waters during the summer.

REPRODUCTION
The great hammerheads are viviparous, giving birth to live young. The 20-40 pups are about 27 inches (70 cm) long at birth.

HAMMERHEAD SHARK CLASSIFICATION
Kingdom Animalia (animals)
Phylum Chordata
SubPhylum Vertebrata (vertebrates)
Class Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish)
Subclass Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays)
Order Carcharhiniformes
Family Sphyrnidae
  • Genus Eusphyra
    • Species blochii: the winghead shark
  • Genus Sphyrna
    • Species corona: Scalloped bonnethead
    • Species couardi: Whitefin hammerhead
    • Species lewini: Scalloped hammerhead, bronze hammerhead, kidney-headed shark
    • Species media: Scoophead
    • Species mokarran: Great hammerhead
    • Species tiburo: Bonnethead, shovelhead, bonnet shark
    • Species tudes: Smalleye hammerhead
    • Species zygaena: Smooth hammerhead, balance fish, black hammerhead

Great hammerhead shark

HAMMERHEAD SHARK ACTIVITIES
A print-out about the great hammerhead shark.

A first grade addition activity. Solve the 1-digit addition problems, then do letter substitutions to answer a shark question.



Information Sheets About Sharks (and Rays)

Just click on an animal's name to go to that information sheet. If the shark (or ray) you're interested in isn't here, check the Shark Dictionary.

ANGELSHARK

BASKING SHARK

BLACKTIP REEF SHARK

BLUE SHARK

BLUNTNOSE SIXGILL SHARK

BONNETHEAD SHARK

BROADNOSE SEVENGILL SHARK

BULL SHARK

DOGFISH SHARK

GALAPAGOS SHARK

GOBLIN SHARK

GREAT WHITE SHARK

HAMMERHEAD SHARK

LEMON SHARK

MAKO SHARK

MANTA RAY

NURSE SHARK

PORBEAGLE SHARK

SPINED PYGMY SHARK

TIGER SHARK

THRESHER SHARK

WHALE SHARK



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