Types of Sharks
The Great Hammerhead: Sci-Fi Shark
Sporting a bizarre hammer-shaped head with eyes spaced far apart on either side, the great hammerhead looks like an extra from a science fiction film. Meet one of the weirdest-looking sharks in the ocean.
Great Hammerheads By the Numbers
Average Life Span
HOW TO SPOT A GREAT HAMMERHEAD SHARK
While it would be difficult to mistake most sharks for a great hammerhead - its massive size and bizarre, T-shaped head kind of give it away - this shark has a few other qualities that set it apart. Tap or click for more information. Explore the Great Hammerhead
Did You Know?
There Are 10 Species of Hammerhead Sharks
The great hammerhead shark is just one of 10 species in the hammerhead group. Others are the bonnethead, mallethead, scalloped hammerhead, scoophead, smalleye hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, whitefin hammerhead, winghead, and the recently discovered Carolina hammerhead.
All of the hammerheads have at least one thing in common - their uniquely shaped heads. Called a "cephalofoil," each shark's head can have a slightly different appearance. The names of some species describe the different bumps and creases in their cephalofoils; the scalloped hammerhead, for example, has ridges all along their cephalofoils.
At an average size of 10 to 13 feet and weighing up to 1,000 pounds, the great hammerhead shark is the largest of the group. The bonnethead is the smallest, with an average size of just 3 feet long and weight of less than 7 pounds. The scoophead is also very small, with its cephalofoil sometimes representing one-third the size of its entire body.
All of the hammerheads belong to the Groundsharks order, which includes requiem sharks like the bull shark and tiger shark.