Scientific name............Eusphyra Blochii
The winghead shark is one of the smaller hammerhead sharks. They are
easily identified by its emmense wing-shaped head with narrow
blades, the ultimate example of the cephalofoil, measuring about
half the shark's total body length. The eyes are set far apart on
the extremely broad head, this may have the effect of improving the
shark's stereoscopic vision. The nares are located near the middle
of the head, but the nasal grooves extend along almost its full
width. These wide nasal grooves can sample a very large section of
the water, which may enhance the shark's ability to detect and
locate odour sources. The electroreceptive ampullae of Lorenzini and
mechanoreceptive lateral line on the wings have an extended
distribution across the head. First dorsal fin over pectoral fin
bases, further forward than other hammerheads. Upper precaudal pit
longitudinal, not crescent-shaped.
The winghead shark can grow to a maximum size of 5 to 6 feet, but
commonly reaching 3 1/2 feet. Born at 13 to 18 inches ( 32-45cm ).
They feed on crabs shrimp, cephalopods, and small fishes, buried in
Apparently pregnant females reportedly fight each other.
This poorly studied species is widespread along the coast of
southern Asia in the Indian Ocean, and around islands of the western
Pacific. It is also common in shallow tropical waters on continental
and island shelves.
Winghead sharks are live bearing (viviparous) with yolk sac
placenta. They mate in spring and give birth to 6 to 20 pups, about
13 to 18" (32-45cm ) long, after 8-11month pregnancy.
Not aggressive, not known to bite people, unlike the larger species.
They are exploited commercially in Southeast Asia, but because the
winghead population has a high natural mercury content, it is not
generally marketed elsewhere. Although hammerhead fins are valuable
and they can die very quickly when hooked or entangled, thus live
release of bycatch is unusual.