Marine Science/ Per. 1
Sharks are one of the most feared sea animals. They live in oceans
across the world but are most common in tropical waters. There are over three
hundred fifty species of sharks. They can be broadly categorized into the
following four groups: Squalomorphii, Squatinomorphii, Batoidea, and
Galeomorphii. The shark family Sphyrnidae that includes the Hammerheads are
part of the Galeomorphic classification. They are probably the most easily
recognizable of all the sharks. The Hammerheads are among the strangest looking
sharks. As the name indicates they have a flattened head which resembles the
head of a hammer. Their eyes and nostrils are at the ends of the hammer. There
are many species of Hammerheads. There are eight living species of hammerheads.
The following four are the main categories:
1. Scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini)-Pectoral fins are tipped with black
this grey shark. The maximum length is about 12 feet.
2. Bonnethead (Spyrna tiburo)-With a head shaped like a shovel the bonnethead
rarely grows more than four feet long. This shark is commonly seen inshore.
3. Smooth hammerhead (Sphyrna zygaena)-Bronze with dusky fin tips, it can grow
to thirteen feet.
4. Great hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran)-Attaining a length of a possible 18 feet,
this is the largest and most dangerous of all the hammerheads.
One of the most interesting things about the hammerheads is the unique
shape of their heads. Ever since scientists started to study the hammerhead
they have speculated about the use of the hammer. The hammer is a complex
structure and probably serves more than one function. The most important
function of the hammer according to scientists is increased electroreceptive
area and it's sensory perception. This means that the hammerhead has a
remarkable sensory ability to detect the small electrical auras surrounding all
living creatures. Under certain conditions, such as in searching for wounded
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