The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, also called Sphyrna lewini, belongs to the family of Sphyrnidae sharks. The original scientific name of this shark was Zygaena lewini before it was changed to the current one. The family name Sphymidae is derived from the Greek language where it means “hammer”. The name, obviously, comes from the shape of the Shark’s head.
The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark also has various other names and is known across the world as the bronze shark, kidney-headed shark or the southern hammerhead shark. This is the most common of all sharks in the hammerhead family and is found mostly in tropical and temperate coastal waters across the world.
The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark is mostly found on the continental shelves and prefers the deeper waters. It is found abundantly in depths of 1600 feet (500 meters) and is also often found in shallower waters of about 80 feet (25 meters). They are sensitive to light and because of their enhanced social behavior, these sharks are found closer to shore lines during the day and mostly remain in deep seas during the night.
Adults can be found alone, in small groups, or in pairs. Juveniles normally hang out in bigger groups. The hunting can be an individual effort or done in groups, depending on the geography and the size of prey.
When these sharks decide to get together, it’s a big party! They are known to swim in packs of 100 or more. They are considered quite intelligent due to a well developed brain. Thankfully, this breed of shark is not known to be aggressive to humans and is considered to be safe for divers to swim around.
Their social behavior is apparent from the groups they form in various geographical areas across the world. The groups are formed from local populations and also from various other sharks that have migrated. They are known to migrate in huge masses during migrating season and it can be a sight to behold!
These social gatherings have been found in Malpelo (Columbia), Sea of Cortez, Costa Rica (near Cocos Island), the Galapagos Island, Columbia, the Malpelo, the Red Sea, Bahamas (San Salvador, Hawaii, South Africa, China Sea, Australia and the Philippines (Cabilao Island). In all of those areas, groups of 500 or more Scalloped Hammerheads have been seen together.
Raw Video Of A Hammerhead Shark Migration
Even though this incredible migrating behavior has been observed and studied many times, scientists are still a bit puzzled about why they migrate in such large groups. Researchers have found evidence that this shark is highly intelligent and they established a proper and accurate social organization within the large groups. It appears that their main form of communication is done using a complicated set of body movements. The body movements used for communication included pushing other sharks using the body, shaking the head, curved swimming maneuvers, swimming while spinning the body on an axis, hitting other sharks in the group using the head and opening the mouth partially.
These large migrating groups include males, females, adults, juveniles, and even other shark breeds. A large part of the group is formed by females that are around 1.7 meters in size. The groups tend to form around the females as the females stick to the center of the pack.
Their reproductive process is not entirely known, but both sexes are known to engage in biting. Scars of such bites are found both on female and male sharks.
Females give birth to live pups after a pregnancy which lasts about 10 months. The litter size is quite flexible and can range between 15 and 30. Young Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks grow quite slowly compared to other sharks and are normally found in shallower waters.
Raw Video Of Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks