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Saltwater Fish Identification

Greater Hammerhead
Sphyrna mokarran


   
Common Name(s):

Giant Hammerhead

Description:

The great hammerhead is a very large shark with the characteristic hammer-shaped head from which it gets its common name. The font margin of the head is nearly straight with a shallow notch in the center in adult great hammerheads, distinguishing it from the smooth hammerhead and scalloped hammerhead. The first dorsal fin is very tall with a pointed tip and strongly falcate in shape while the second dorsal is also high with a strongly concave rear margin. The origin of the first dorsal fin is opposite or slightly behind the pectoral fin axil with the free rear tip falling short to above the origin of the pelvic fins. The rear margins of the pelvic fins are concave and falcate in shape, not seen in scalloped hammerhead. The posterior edge of the anal fin is deeply notched.

Similar Fish:

Scalloped Hammerhead, Smooth Hammerhead

Feeding Habits:

The Greater Hammerhead feeds on fishes and squids near the surface, and also on crabs, stingrays, and other bottom-dwelling animals. It swims along the sea floor swinging its head from side to side, using electro-sensors to detect its prey.

Range:

All Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

Habitat:

The Greater Hammerhead prefer the open sea, but often ventures close to shore, and especially likes the deep Gulf Coast passes when schools of big tarpon are present.

Typical Size:

The Greater Hammerhead commonly runs more than 500 pounds and sometimes as much as 1,000 pounds and can possibly reach one ton.

World Record:

991 pounds, 0 ounces


 



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