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photos of  great hammerhead sharks

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pa0373-D. Great Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna mokarran), Bahamas, Atlantic Ocean. View from beneath, showing distinctive head shape
Great Hammerhead Shark stock photo available for licensing
nc226. Great Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna mokarran), a large solitary elasmobranch species
professional marine imagery of many shark species
pa0298-D. underwater portrait of Great Hammerhead Shark, side view, high res digital picture
underwater picture of Great Hammerhead Shark in the Atlantic Ocean

RR1883-Brandon Cole shark stock photo, Bimini Bahamas image of great hammerhead species
creative marine photography of Great Hammerhead Sharks available for sale

scuba diver with Great Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna mokarran)

RR1795, Sphyrna mokarran horizontal format wide angle underwater digital picture, copyright Brandon Cole
dramatic underwater image of Great Hammerhead Shark swimming over sand

more photos


   vitals                                                              bio
Great Hammerhead Shark
scientific name Sphyrna mokarran
range Worldwide, most tropical and occasionally warm temperate
Bahamas, French Polynesia
habitat Primarily coastal
size To 20 feet (6m)
diet Rays, skates, sharks, fish
trivia Large females have up to forty 2.5’ long pups; few attacks recorded, but considered dangerous
The Great Hammerhead Shark, Sphyrna mokarran, is an impressive fish, a solitary giant with a tall curved dorsal fin much like an orca whale. It’s the largest of the eight or nine species of hammerheads (family Sphyrnidae), which are immediately recognizable because of their flattened T-shaped heads. Some scientists surmise it acts like an airplane wing, providing lift during swimming. Certainly this "cephalofoil" enhances mobility, allowing the shark to make extremely tight turns, and the position of the eyes at the outer edges of the "hammer" likely improves stereoscopic vision.
     Though usually not aggressive, the great hammerhead’s size, averaging 10-12 feet (females are larger than males), demands respect and caution from divers and swimmers. Up until recently encounters were hit and miss, but recent expeditions in the northern Bahamas Islands of the western Atlantic Ocean have proved reliable for winter-time sightings over 80-100 foot deep offshore reefs.
     The Great Hammerhead feeds on a wide variety of mid-water and bottom fishes, including other elasmobranchs. Most noteworthy is its preference for skates and rays. At night it hunts stingrays, eagle rays, guitarfish and the like, using an amazing technique. Using the side of its hammer, it pins a ray to the bottom, then deftly rotates its head to the side and bites off a large chunk of the prey’s wing. The pin-spin-and-bite attack continues until the skate or ray is consumed.


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