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From the Shore to the Deep Blue Sea

Introduction
Gray Smoothhound
Leopard Shark
Horn Shark
Swell Shark
Angel Shark
Blue Shark
Mako Shark
Thresher Shark
Hammerhead Shark
Great White Shark

Shark School

Hammerhead Shark
(Sphyrna zygaena)

Hammerhead Sharks.  Copyright 1998 Mark Conlin The hammerhead shark is rare in the waters off San Diego and northern Baja California. It can come into local waters during the summer months, and has been seen around San Clemente Island.

The hammerhead shark is easily identified by its thick, broad head, which looks very much like the profile of mallet. It reaches a maximum length of 11 feet.

The shape of the shark's head -- wide and flattened -- serves important biological functions. First, it provides lift, which improves the shark's swimming abilities. It also extends the shark's sensory systems: the eyes are placed far apart, improving its field of vision; the ampullae of Lorenzini and lateral line have a larger surface area, increasing their sensitivity.

Hammerheads are efficient predators and feed on bony fishes, other sharks, crustaceans, and especially stingrays that they can find buried in the sand. They are able to find the stingrays by using the ampullae of Lorenzini.

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Photograph © Mark Conlin

Shark School | Kids' Habitat

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