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How do hammerhead sharks protect themselves?

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Quick Answer

The hammerhead shark has highly sensitive sensory organs located in its head, one of which is the ampullae of Lorenzini. This detects electric fields emitted by other predators, a system similar to the way sonar operates. Its sandpaper-like skin can tear flesh, and it's equipped with a body that has the ability to bend and twist in sharp movements for both offensive and defensive maneuvers.

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Full Answer

The eyes of the hammerhead are located on the outer edges of the hammer and allow for sight above and below but with a blind spot directly in front. The great hammerhead generally travels alone, but the smaller scalloped hammerhead is often found in schools for greater protection, especially the females for protection from the males.

Because a hammerhead's mouth is so small, many become bottom feeders, and their heads allow them to easily scan beneath the surface of the sand for food. Just as their eyes have a broader range of use, so do their noses. Hammerheads have wider nostrils than most sharks and are able to smell prey from a great distance.

The great hammerhead shark when fully grown can reach up to 20 feet and can live between 25 and 35 years. Like humans, the female sharks carry their young, but they can produce between 20 to 50 pups at a time.

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