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Golden Hammerhead Shark
Threat Level: low
Scientific name..........Sphyrna Tudes
Common names..........Smalleye hammerhead
Golden hammerheads are one of eight hammerheads and one of the smallest of the hammerhead species. This shark has smaller eyes than its congeners-eye site is less important to this shark because of its preference for murky water. They have broad, arched mallet-shaped head, deeply indented in front, straight behind. Fairly large, broadly arched mouth, short snout, Free rear tip of first dorsal over pelvic insertions. Transverse, crescentric upper pre-caudal pit. The shape of the head acts as a wing, aiding in close-quarters maneuverability.
The Golden hammerhead is a small species which grows to a maximum length of about 4.20 feet long.
The teeth of the Golden hammerheads resemble those of some Carcharhinids.
One of the most unique characterisics of this hammerhead is the coloration. Most of the body, head, and fins are bright yellow or orange, while the dorsal fin and dorsum are gray to grayish yellow. The brightest colored individuals fall in the size between 21.6 to 27.5 inches with the color fading as the sharks grow larger. The coloration results from its diet.
The Golden hammerheads diet consists of carotenoid-laden shrimp and bright yellow sea catfish eggs. Juveniles feed more heavily on crustaceans.
Hammerheads' eyes are on the end of their head projections, giving them a good view as they swing their heads back and forth. The nostrols are widely spaced on the front of their heads, helping them detect them where an odour is coming from. They also have a large number of ampullae of Lorenzini, which detect electric signals from hidden fish.
Golden hammerheads appear singly or in groups. They hunt as individuals at night, but swim together in large numbers during the day.
This sharks inhabits the northeastern coast of South America, from Venezuela to Uruguay. It is found in coastal waters of depths of 30 to 130 feet over muddy bottoms.
Male Golden hammerheads mature at a length of about 2.6 feet, females at a length of about 3.3 feet. Female Golden hammerheads ovulate and mate during the month of August. Developing pups of this species are nourished at late stages of gestation via a yolk-sac placenta. Gestation of the Golden Hammerhead appears to last about 10 months and give birth 5-12 pups and measure about 12 inches long.
Harmless unless provoked.
Common and widespread, but extremely heavily fished in most areas.
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