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scalloped hammerhead Scalloped hammerhead shark

SCALLOPED HAMMERHEAD

Sphyrna lewini

SIZE

To about 12 ft (3.7 m).

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

  • Head broadly arched and hammer-shaped, marked by prominent indentation at midline ("scalloped")
  • Pelvic fins with straight rear margins
  • Color deep olive to brownish-gray above, shading to white below
  • No interdorsal ridge

DISTRIBUTION

Massachusetts to Brazil, including Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.

HABITAT

Coastal and offshore, primarily in water >72°F (22°C); coastal bays and surface waters to at least 900 ft (274 m).

SIMILAR SPECIES

Bonnethead has shovel-shaped head; growns to about 5 ft (1.5 m). Smooth Hammerhead lacks central indentation on anterior margin of head. Great Hammerhead attains larger maximum size (18.5 ft (5.6 m)); has very high first dorsal fin, pelvic fins with curved rear margins.

MORE INFORMATION

Ichthyology at the Florida Museum of Natural History


Guide to Sharks, Tunas, & Billfishes of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

Text descriptions taken from:
Guide to Sharks, Tunas, & Billfishes
of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico

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(File Modified Aug. 08 2017)