Bonnethead Shark


CLASS: Chondrichthyes
ORDER: Carcharhiniformes
FAMILY: Sphyrnidae
GENUS: Sphyrna
SPECIES:S. tiburo

habitat & Range

The bonnethead shark inhabits warm and shallow coastal waters and are also found in bays and estuaries.

Did you know?

  • Recent studies on the diet of Bonnethead sharks have revealed that they are the first known omnivorous shark as they digest and assimilate nutrients from seagrass.
  • The bonnethead is the smallest species of hammerhead shark in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • This species will make migrations in schools of hundreds of sharks and there is typically a hierarchy within the school.
  • Males have a bulge on the tip of the head, or cephalofoil, whereas the head of females is smooth and rounded.
North American River Otter

Form & Function

The bonnethead is a small hammerhead shark that can grow up to 5 feet long. The head is shaped like a shovel with eyes on opposite sides. They have a gray dorsal surface and a lighter belly. The shovel-shaped head of the bonnethead shark provides them with an increased field of vision because the eyes are on opposite sides. They also have a lateral line that can detect vibrations from the movements of prey.

Conservation & YOu

Least Concern (IUCN) While populations are currently stable, these sharks are commonly targeted in fisheries and their nurseries are in inshore waters where juveniles may be accidentally captured. You can help protect bonnethead sharks by following your state’s fishing laws and regulations.
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