What Do Hammerhead Sharks Eat?

The oddest head shape species!

Hammer like head!

Among all the species of sharks, the hammerhead sharks have a distinct shape of head – like a hammer! The reason behind the name! Hammerhead sharks are the most aggressive species of sharks thriving in the ocean water. The maximum length of shark’s species is 20 feet and weight is about 991 pounds. Being the apex predators, the species of sharks prefers to live in the tropical and coastal warm waters with a suitable temperature of 68o F. There are solitary hunters and they travel a long distance of 756 miles or even more!

This is the general introduction! Coming to the main agenda – what do they eat? What food items are included in their menu? Let’s find out about their feeding habitat!

What Hammerhead sharks eat most frequently?

The diet of Hammerhead sharks varies depending upon the type of species. Some species of Hammerhead such as Bonnet-head are omnivores, they feed on seagrass as well.  Despite all of this, the size of their mouth is small as compared to the moth size of other sharks which is why it limits the food options. The species mostly feed on small species of fishes, crustaceans such as eels and lobsters, squids, stingrays, octopus and other sharks. The stingrays are the most favoured food item of the sharks menu. However, they are also involved in cannibalism and feed on the young ones of their own community.

What are the favourite food items of the Hammerhead sharks?

Although, the Hammerhead sharks feeds on variety of food but commonly they are fond of eating the following foodstuffs:

  • Smaller fish
  • Mojarra
  • Carangids
  • Drum fish
  • Stingrays
  • Crustaceans
  • Octopus
  • Seagrass
  • Squid
  • Squat lobsters
  • Moray eels
  • Lizardfish
  • Dolphins
  • Hake

Well, that’s all about the dietary chart of the Hammerhead sharks! Read on to know how much they consume in a day!

How much do Hammerhead sharks eat per day?

The exact calculation about the consumption of food by Hammerhead sharks is unknown but it is supposed that they are opportunistic hunters and eat as much as they hunt the prey in a day. On an average, it is assumed that the young pups need 3.5 % of food as compared to their total body weight for growth and development.

Moving on to irradiate the hunting behaviour of the Hammerhead sharks! Let’s go!

How do Hammerhead sharks hunt their prey?

The Hammerhead sharks are mostly nocturnal predators and live alone in the ocean water. The strangely looking head helps the shark’s species to spot and hunt the prey. The eyes on both sides of the head gives them a clear vision compared to other sharks. The laterally extended head helps them to make sharp turns and move with agility when hunting the prey.

The heads of sharks have unique sensory receptors called Ampullae of Lorenzini which helps the sharks to detect the electric and magnetic fields produced in the water current by the movement of the prey. The sensory organs are extremely sensitive so that they can easily locate their food such as stingrays (even buried in the mud or sand). The Hammerhead uses their hammer like head to pin down the stingrays and feed on it! Hard work brings good luck!

What does it conclude?

Hammerhead sharks are the well-known species of the shark’s realm because of the odd shape of their head – Hammer like! Like other species of sharks, the Hammerhead sharks feed on a variety of food items such as small fishes, lobsters, squids, dolphins, other sharks, octopus and  many others. Stingrays are their most favourite foodstuff, they even locate the stingrays when buried in the sand or mud on the ocean floor with the help of electro-receptors present on their heads! Hope you gather enough knowledge about the feeding behaviour of Hammerhead sharks!

About the author

Yumna Ahmad

An experienced content writer, photographer, and avid reader amazed by the sea world and its creatures. I am letting people become fascinated with the ocean planet through my writings.