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There is 10 species of Hammerheads worldwide, with each species feeding on different prey. The Bonnethead Shark, Sphyrna tiburo, is the smallest of the Sphyrnidae family. It can be found in shallow estuaries and bays over seagrass meadows or sandy bottoms between 10 - 80 m in depth. This particular species of Hammerhead occurs only in North, South and Central America.
Hammerheads are thought to be the most recently evolved sharks, with the unique shape of their head enhancing senses such as sight, smell & electro-receptive abilities.
The Bonnethead shark is unique as it is the first discovered species of omnivorous shark, with its diet consisting of up to 60% seagrass and the remainder being of small fish, crustaceans and molluscs.
Females maximum total length is 1.5m and they reach sexual maturation at around 2-3 years old. Males are generally smaller than females but mature faster at 2 years. This species reproduce annually and are viviparous, meaning they birth live young. The gestation period is one of the shortest at 4.5-5 months, with an average litter size of 10 pups.
According to the IUCN, the Bonnethead's population is stable. This may be due to early maturation and short gestation periods.
To help conserve this species it is important to support & maintain healthy seagrass habitats within known forging and breeding areas.
Image credited to Tennesse Aquarium
It is also critical to support small, sustainable fisheries if you do choose to consume seafood to reduce the risk of by catch and damage to sensitive ecosystems.