Smooth Hammerhead Shark

 Sphyrna zygaena

Smooth Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna zygaena). Image credit Richard Herrmann/NOAA.

 New! NOAA scientists from SWFSC and Tagging of Pelagic Predators tag the first smooth hammerhead with a satellite tag off Southern California! Read the article here: Tagged Hammerhead Shark Travels Widely in Warm Pacific Waters

Distribution: Worldwide in tropical and temperate waters, and distributed along our coast from central California to the Gulf of California, Mexico. Younger hammerhead sharks occur in very large migrating schools although larger solitary hammerheads are common. Most are found inshore on continental shelves to far offshore, usually in water of depth 0-20 meters. Smooth hammerheads are the most wide-ranging than any other hammerhead species.

Growth and Development: Smooth hammerheads are viviparous and give birth to about 29-37 pups/litter at an average birth size 50-61 cm total length (TL). They reach maturity at around 210-240 cm TL, with a maximum size reported at 370-400 TL.

Feeding: Bony fishes, small sharks, and stingrays.

Conservation and Management: The species is listed globally as Vulnerable by the IUCN due to heavy fishing pressure in the early 1900's, however more information is needed to further assess the species in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Last modified: 12/8/2015