This has to be my favorite species of hammerhead shark- ever. Why? Well, the hammerhead species is already unique due to their… well, hammer-shaped head. But this particular species, the winghead shark (Eusphyra blochii), stands out from its relatives. Why? Well, look at that elongated hammer-like head!
Found in the Indo-West Pacific, they are seen patrolling coastal waters down to the continental shelf. Like other hammerheads, and many other sharks, they are slow to grow and reach a maximum total length size of 186 cm. According to the IUCN website, they reach a maximum age of 21 (dang, what a way to go out!) and a generation length of 14 years. Females mature later on than males, as females reach maturity at 7.2 years compared to males at 5.5 years. These sharks love estuaries and sandy-muddy bottoms.
Due to that funny-shaped head, they are more at risk for entanglement than just your average shark. Their population seems to be decreasing and so the IUCN has assessed them as Endangered (EN). In fact, they are heavily exploited in most of their range, such as Thailand, India, and Indonesia and is suspected to be overfished.
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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