Hammerheads are aggressive hunters. They do not actively seek out human prey, but are very defensive and will attack when provoked. Generally speaking humans have nothing to fear from hammerheads although on rare occasions larger sharks have attacked people. This shark's uncommonly small mouth is more suited to eat fishes than people!
Single sightings tend to occur more frequently near to the shore whereas oceanic islands and sea-mounts are really where you can experience a school in all their glory. Cocos Island off Costa Rica, the Galapagos Islands, Madivaru Corner in the Maldives, Komodo National Park in Indonesia, and the coast of Malaysian Borneo which feature oceanic islands and deep water atolls such as Layang Layang, are among the best locations for sightings. Hammerheads are often seen in mass summer migrations seeking cooler water.
Hammerhead sharks can grow up to 6m with their average weight varying from 230 to 450 kg. Their average life expectancy is between 20 and 30 years. The positioning of the eyes, mounted on the sides of the shark's distinctive hammer head give the shark good 360-degree vision in the vertical plane, meaning they can see above and below them at all times. The hammer is dotted with small electrical sensors called "The Ampullae of Lorenzini" which, at close range, can detect the weak electrical fields generated by all animals. This helps greatly with feeding on fish such as sardines, herring and mackerels, occasionally also on invertebrates such as octopuses.
The great and the scalloped hammerhead are listed on the World Conservation Union's 2008 Red List as endangered, whereas the small eye hammerhead is listed as vulnerable. The status given to these sharks is as a result of over-fishing and demand for their fins, an expensive delicacy. Shark fins are prized as a delicacy. Fishermen who harvest the animals typically cut off the fins and toss the remainder of the fish, which is often still alive, back into the sea.
More detailed information about Hammerhead Sharks can be found here.
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