Scalloped Hammerhead Shark

Galapagos Wildlife: School of hammerheads © Galapagos National Park

School of hammerheads © Galapagos National Park

Species Data

Common Name Scalloped hammerhead shark
Scientific Name Sphyrna lewini
Spanish Name Tiburón martillo
Conservation Status

Galapagos Graphics: IUCN Red List Endangered © Dan Wright




Size Up to 4.3 m
Average Lifespan 20 – 30 years
Predators Other sharks when young
Food Carnivore (fish, lobsters, shrimps, crabs, other sharks and stingrays)
Animal Class Fish

Species Overview

Scalloped hammerhead sharks are the most widely distributed of the hammerheads and can often be seen around the northern islands of Darwin and Wolf. The Galapagos Marine Reserve is one of the few locations in the world where you can still observe scalloped hammerhead sharks gathering together in schools of several hundred.

Hammerhead sharks are one of the most recently evolved groups of sharks. Their hammer-shaped head likely evolved for several reasons including improving vision and providing a larger area for the electroreceptors which detect electrical signals, used when hunting on the seabed.

Due to human pressures including shark finning and bycatch, the scalloped hammerhead shark has been classified as ‘endangered’.

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