Friday, May 20, 2011

Hammerhead Sharks

When viewed from the side, it looks very much like any other shark. However, when seen head-on, or from above or below, a hammerhead is one of the most unusual sharks you could imagine.

Other sharks have pointed or rounded snouts, but hammerhead sharks live up to their name. Their unusual hammerlike heads make them the most easily identifiable of all the sharks. Although the head of these sharks is often described as being the shape of a hammer, it is, in fact, more like a “T”with a curved top.

Useful Hammer
In cross-section, the hammer is shaped like a wing. It may also act like a wing, giving some lift to these sharks. They spend a great deal of time hunting near the bottom, and their fins are well adapted for this way of life. But when they swim in open water, the winglike hammer may help them. Also, by having the nostrils and other senses on the tips of the hammer, the shark may more easily find its prey. The broadly spaced eyes cover a wider field of vision.
Hammerhead SharksIt is reported that the great hammerhead uses its hammer to head-butt skates and rays (two species of fish hunted by hammerheads) and pin them to thebottom. Having immobilized the prey, the shark spins round and bites pieces off the victim’s winglike fins, preventing it from escaping.


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