Only a couple of shark attacks have been attributed to the Great Hammerhead Shark.

There are nine species of hammerhead shark. The Great Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna mokarran) is the largest of the nine species capable of reaching 20 feet/6.1 meters long. At this length, the Great Hammerhead can weigh as much as 1,000 pounds/450 kilograms.

Distribution and Habitat

The Great Hammerhead can be found in the coastal waters within the tropical regains of the planet ranging from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of capricorn. In some exceptions, it can be found as north as 40&degN and as far south as 37&degS. They are found in the extreme parts of their range during the summer.

As you may have already figured out from its distribution, they Great Hammerhead Shark is not found in deep water. The deepest they will go is about 225 feet/69 meters, but may be found in water as shallow as 3.3 feet/1 meter.

Food Preferences

The Great Hammerhead Shark favours stingrays over other food choices. It is postulated that the hammerhead sharks evolved their hammerhead like appearance specifically for catching the stingray. Hammerhead sharks have been witnessed pinning the stingrays down while they feed on them.

Other popular food choices for the Great Hammerhead Shark include squid, octopus, crustaceans and even other sharks. They will also eat boney fish like mackerel, herring and skate.

Features and Size

Besides the aptly named hammerhead for the design of its head, the Great Hammerhead Shark has another distinguishing feature that sets itself aside form other sharks. It’s tail is not symmetrical.

The upper lob of the tail is two to three times larger than the lower lob, which creates a pressure difference as it swims.

It has two dorsal fins, but the second fin is much smaller. Its skin has closely placed diamond-shaped dermal denticles. The color of the Great Hammerhead Shark can vary with the three primary colors being dark brown, light grey and olive on the top and white on the underside of the shark.

Man Eater Danger Scale

Only a couple of shark attacks have been attributed to the Great Hammerhead Shark. While capable of inflicting a significant wound, none have proven fatal to date. When in the presence of the Great Hammerhead Shark, care should be taken but there is little risk for being attacked unless you panic, are wounded or have shinny objects dangling off your body. The Great Hammerhead scores a 2 on the an eater danger scale.