Skip links

Hammerhead Shark Facts For Kids

The hammerhead sharks are a group of sharks in the family Sphyrnidae, so named for the unusual and distinctive structure of their heads, which are flattened and laterally extended into a “hammer” shape called a cephalofoil. The distinctive shaped hammer head of these ocean predators is called a cephalofoil, and it has some small variations among the different species of hammerheads.

Scientific name: Sphyrnidae
Rank: Family
Color: The upper sides of these fish are grayish-brown or olive-green and they have white bellies.
Higher classification: Ground sharks
Location: You can find hammerheads in temperate and tropical waters all over the world.
Mass: Scalloped hammerhead: 180 lbs, Bonnethead: 13 lbs
Did you know: Hammerhead sharks are generally not dangerous to humans. There have been very few recorded attacks on people by the great hammerhead. There have only been 38 recorded hammerhead attacks on humans since 1580, only 16 of which were unprovoked, and no one has ever been killed by a hammerhead.

  • Shape of its head is an amazing piece of anatomy built to maximize the fish’s ability to find its primary prey, stingrays. Hammerheads also eat bony fishes, crabs, squid, lobsters, and other sea creatures.
  • The shark hunts alone, and can find stingrays that hide under the sand on the seafloor.
  • There are nine different classifications of hammerhead sharks, but only four are abundant: the great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead and bonnethead.
  • The shark’s eye placement, on each end of its very wide head, allows it to scan more area more quickly than other sharks can.
  • The hammerhead also has special sensors across its head that helps it scan for food in the ocean.
  • They have very impressive triangular, serrated teeth—like the edge of a saw’s blade.
  • Unlike many fish, hammerheads do not lay eggs. A female gives birth to live young. One litter can range from six to about 50 pups.