How much do you know about hammerhead sharks? Find out in today’s blog post at Light Future Art.
1. The “hammer” of a hammerhead shark is called the cephalofoil. The cephalofoil provides the shark with extraordinary vision, letting them see in a 360-degree radius and greater depth perception than most other fish.
2. In addition to vision, the cephalofoil lets the hammerhead shark sweep for prey in a wider area. Sharks hunt by sensing the electrical impulses from other fish through their skin. These sensory pores are called the “ampullae of Lorenzini”, by the way, which is such a cool name that I just had to mention it. By having these sensory points distributed over a wider area on their head, they can search a larger area for food.
3. Among the indigenous people of the Torres Strait Islands, hammerhead sharks are a symbol of law and order and are an important motif in ceremonial dress.
4. Young hammerhead sharks are called pups. After birth, the litter of pups are not cared for by either of their parents but instead stay together and take care of each other until each is strong enough to fend for themselves.
5. But two parents aren’t necessarily needed to produce offspring. In 2007, it was discovered that female hammerhead sharks were capable of asexual reproduction. This makes them the only known we know of who possesses this ability.
6. The diet of hammerhead sharks consists of smaller fish, crustaceans, and squid. However, hammerheads also eat a lot of seagrasses, most of it unintentionally. Their stomach is capable of digesting the grass, though, making them possibly the only omnivorous shark.
7. During the day, hammerheads have been known to form groups, called schools. Sometimes, schools can be as large as 100 individuals. In the evening, though, schools break up and hammerheads become solitary.
8. Hammerheads can live for close to 50 years. Because of their longer lifespan, they have a longer adolescence. Hammerheads only reach maturity when they are about 7 years old.
9. Hammerhead sharks are known to have fossils that trace back to 20 million years ago, but tracing the evolutionary history of sharks is difficult. They don’t have bones that fossilize, so researchers usually only have teeth to work with.
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