Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Family: Sphyrnidae, Hammerhead Sharks, Bonnethead Sharks, Scoophead Sharks


All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head = flat hammer

FAMILY SPHYRNIDAE

HAMMERHEAD SHARKS, BONNETHEAD SHARKS, SCOOPHEAD SHARKS

Small to large sharks with elongate, moderately slender bodies whose distinctive feature is the form of the head: the front is strongly flattened, with side expansions of varying shapes (spade, mallet or axe-shaped) that have the eyes at the outer edges; nostrils short, before eyes on head plane; front teeth blade-like, with 1 point, lower teeth straight, upper teeth oblique, deeply notched on rear side; rear teeth like front teeth or are like molars; five gill slits, last one over pectoral; 2 dorsal fins, 1st high and pointed, second dorsal much smaller; transverse pit above tail base crescent shaped, a pit below tail base; tail fin strongly asymmetrical, notched under tip of top lobe, large lower lobe.

This circumtropical family has two genera with eight species; six species (3 circumtropical, 2 neotropical and one W Atlantic) of one genus occur in the Greater Caribbean.

PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER CARPENTER (2002)