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Bonnethead shark

Bonnethead shark

(Sphyrna tiburo)

The bonnethead shark is found in the western Atlantic Ocean from North Carolina to southern Brazil, including Cuba, the Bahamas and the northern Gulf of Mexico. In the east Pacific, it occurs from southern California to Ecuador. The bonnethead is one of the most abundant shark species along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast. It is usually encountered on sandy bottoms, seagrass beds, lagoons and in bays and estuaries.

The bonnethead is one of the smaller species of hammerhead shark. Its head is more mallet-shaped than other hammerheads and its snout is broadly rounded, resembling a shovel. . This shark is viviparous, meaning it gives birth to live young. The female is known to move to shallow water before giving birth to from 8 to16 pups.

Touch the bonnethead sharks in Georgia Explorer gallery.

Fun Facts

  • The bonnthead is relatively harmless to humans.
  • An adult can measure up to five feet in length.
  • At birth, a bonnethead shark is 13 to 15 inches long.
  • Unlike most sharks, this species often forms single-sex schools or schools of similar sized individuals.
  • The bonnethead typically travels in groups of 5 to15 individuals, but schools can number in the thousands.
  • Download full fact sheet

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