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Scoophead shark, Scalloped bonnethead shark, golden
Hammer narrow. Leading edge of hammer
slightly scalloped with poorly defined indentations. No prominent central
indentation. No prenarial grooves. Mouth roughly 1/3rd of hammer width
(similar mallethead shark sphyrna corona mouth 2/5ths hammer width). Fins
mostly plain with slight dusky tips. Anal fin long with falcate free tip.
1st dorsal fin high and falcate, second much lower. Dorsal surface greyish brown
/ gold. Ventral
length 150 cm. Commonly 100 cm. 34 cm at birth.
Inshore turbid bays, estuaries and rivers as well as continental shelves.
Confined to Central America and Northern South America. Western Atlantic
from Panama to Southern Brazil.
Eastern Pacific from the Sea of Cortez to Ecuador and possibly south to
Taken incidentally by gill
netters in Panama Bay, Panama.
IUCN Status: Data
deficient. A common bycatch in the mackerel fishery.
Feeds mainly on small sharks, octopus, squids and flounders.
Hammerhead sharks are considered the most highly evolved of the shark families.
Isla Chepillo, Bahia de Panama, Panama,
Eastern Pacific Ocean.
The scoophead shark shares much of its Pacific range with the mallethead
shark Sphyrna corona which has a thinner mouth, a longer snout and a
less concave anal fin. It shares its Atlantic range with the Golden or
smalleye hammerhead which has a well defined central indent in the anterior
margin of its hammer.
Reaction to divers:
Scoophead sharks live in turbit
estuarine environments. Consequently, they are rarely (if ever) encountered
by divers. These Scoophead Shark images are of an
animal released from a gillnet in the mouth of the Rio Bayano in Panama Bay.
Any locations where scoophead
sharks can be seen or photographed in their natural environment would be welcome.
Diving locations submitted by