Golden Hammerhead Shark
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
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
One of the most unique characteristics 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 greyish 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
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
Golden hammerheads appear singly or in groups. They hunt as
individuals at night, but swim together in large numbers during the
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.