After years of watching Shark Week on Discovery, we’ve witnessed the final moments of Snuffy the Seal and heard tale of a beast called Sharkzilla. While it is unlikely that a Great White is going to snatch you off a jet ski, there are sharks swimming in Gulf Coast waters. Perhaps the most famous of the Gulf of Mexico sharks is the hammerhead.
Hammerhead sharks are fierce predators that live in warm tropical waters and feast on stingrays, fish, crabs, squid, and other sea creatures. Once hammerhead pups reach adulthood, they take their place at the top of the food chain and have virtually no predators. Hammerheads are not aggressive toward humans, however, they are dangerous and should be avoided. Few attacks on humans have ever been reported.
Prefer to see a shark in a controlled environment? The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park has you covered
Here are 10 things you should know about Hammerhead Sharks...
Image from Flickr
- What’s in a name? The scientific genus name of hammerhead sharks is Sphyma, the Greek word for hammer.
- Hammerheads’ eye placement on either side of their heads gives them greater visibility than most other sharks.
- Their mouths are on the underside of their heads.
- The hammerhead’s favorite meal is stingrays, which they pin down to the ocean floor with their wide heads.
- Hammerheads have sensory organs on their heads that detect the electrical fields of prey and other animals.
- They suntan. That’s right, hammerheads soak up the sun just like humans.
- Hammerheads have a lifespan of 20-30 years in the wild.
- Massive in size, hammerheads grow 13-20 feet and can weigh up to half a ton.
- Females give live birth instead of laying eggs like most fish. A single hammerhead litter can contain up to 50 pups.
- Hammerhead shark populations are stable and healthy.
Image from Flickr
Want to see one of these fascinating creatures up close and personal? Test your luck on a Destin Shark Fishing Charter