PORT PHILLIP BAY


Smooth Hammerhead 

Sphyrna zygaena (Linnaeus, 1758)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Vertebrae: 193-206 (precaudal 98-100)
Jaw teeth (upper): 14 or 15-1 or 2-14 or 15
Jaw teeth (lower): 14-1 or 2-14

Additional information in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Family level detail.
Easily identifiable pelagic sharks with their bizarre flattened and expanded ?hammer-like? heads with eyes and nostrils on the outer tips. The flattened head is thought to increase the surface area for the electrochemical sensory system and enhance vision. Found worldwide in tropical and temperate seas. Some species are responsible for attacks on humans. Females give birth to live young.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Chondrichthyes
Subclass:
Elasmobranchii
Order:
Carcharhiniformes
Family:
Sphyrnidae
Genus:
Sphyrna
Species:
zygaena

General Description

A large pelagic shark with relatively broad 'hammer-shaped' blades; front border of head curved outward with no median indentation; teeth finely serrate. To 3.5 m.

Biology

These hammerhead sharlks may form large schools and feed on fishes, cephalopods and crustaceans. Females give birth to litters of up to 30 pups.

Habitat

In coastal and over continental shelf waters, to a depth of 60 m.

Open water

Distribution guide

Circumglobal. In southern Australia.

Species Group

Sharks and rays Sharks

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

Midwater

Max Size

3.5 m

Diet

Carnivore

Harmful

Potentially dangerous to humans.

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Vulnerable

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Smooth Hammerhead, Sphyrna zygaena, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 29 May 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6563

Text: creative commons cc by licence