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Jennifer Kennedy

Tracking Hammerhead Sharks

By February 4, 2013

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Hammerhead Shark / tanjila, FlickrI was just checking out a BBC web site with some fantastic pictures of hammerhead sharks in the Bahamas. The photos show the efforts of researchers from the Bimini Biological Field Station, who free dive with the sharks to minimize disturbance, and tag them to learn more about their behavior.  Those really interested in sharks might want to know that the field station offers internships and volunteer opportunities (according to its web site).

The group of sharks known as the hammerheads contains 9 species of sharks in the Family Sphyrnidae. The head of these sharks is uniquely hammer-shaped (the scientific term for this head is 'cephalofoil').  We don't know for sure why their heads are shaped this way - theories include better detection of prey, providing lift while the shark swims, allowing better vision, or helping the sharks pin their prey to the ocean bottom.

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Image: Hammerhead Shark, image courtesy tanjila, Flickr

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