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Quick Facts
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Order: Carcharhiniformes
Family: Sphyrnidae
Genus: Sphyrna
Species: lewini

Length: 168 inches
Gestation: 270 - 300 days
Offspring: 15 - 31

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Scalloped Hammerhead

Sphyrna lewini


The scalloped hammerhead shark has the distinctive "hammer" shaped protrudences common to the hammerhead shark family. Its name comes from a deep indentation in the center of the "hammer". The width of their "hammer" is 20 to 30 percent of their entire length. The are usually a brownish gray dorsally shading to white ventrally. They are generally non-aggressive towards humans but should be left alone. Like all sharks, they have a cartilaginousWhat does cartilaginous mean? skeleton and rough skin. The eyes of the scalloped hammerhead are located on the ends of its "hammer". This gives them a better visual range than most sharks. The "hammer" also seems to be a sensory device.


Scalloped hammerheads feed on cephalopods (squid), fish, crustaceans, and turtles.


Scalloped hammerhead sharks are found worldwide in temperateWhat does temperate mean? seas. They are usually found in deep water but it is not uncommon to find them closer to shore.


Young scalloped hammerhead sharks live in large schools. Adults can be found in large schools, in pairs, or alone. It is thought that they tend to come together in schools to pick mates. They also tend to congregate when they are migratingWhat does migrating mean? from one area to another.


Scalloped hammerhead sharks give birth to live young. The young hammerheads usually live in shallow water nurseries with other young sharks.

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