New “Awesome” Hammerhead Shark Discovered!

Hooray! New shark species discovered- although it looks almost identical to it’s so called twin, the scalloped hammerhead shark (which you can view up close and personal at the Monterey Bay Aquarium as seen in a photo I took below).

Monterey Bay Aquarium photo I took in college. My friend Nick Kova is in the middle of the shot- look him up- he's a great photographer.

The new species is still unnamed, but it look so similar to the scalloped hammerhead that it’s restricting the efforts to save that already endangered species.

This new species- which I will name for the time being- “Awesome Hammerhead”- has a large range in the oceans. It has been discovered near the southern coast of Brazil as well as the eastern coast of the United States. Which makes it even more difficult to start researching this new species.

Looking almost exactly like the endangered scalloped hammerhead is not a good thing for the new “Awesome Hammerheads” … that’s because the scalloped sharks are being unsustainably fished for their ‘precious’ fins which is greatly reducing their numbers. (THIS IS NOT OK) Just throwing it out there, the “Awesome Hammerhead” will probably not be around for long if we don’t crack down on illegal shark finning and protect these great predators of the sea.

At least 7% of the sharks in the US waters originally thought to have been scalloped hammerheads turn out to be the new species which I like to call- “Awesome Hammerhead.” Coming to the actualization that the real scalloped hammerhead population could be fewer than we thought..with an already endangered species this isn’t good news at all.

The new look-alike hammerhead is identical to its near twin, the scalloped hammerhead, except for a few key differences:

  • distinctive DNA
  • 20 fewer vertebrae (about 170 versus 190)
  • a genetic profile suggesting it separated from the scalloped hammerhead 4.5 MILLION years ago

That’s an incredibly long period of time, considering how similar the two different sharks look externally. Crazzzy.

While writing this piece- I found a video from the Ellen Degeneres show regarding the danger of fishing nets which I feel is a good ending to this blog post. Keep the ball rolling on sustainable fishing efforts everyone!! Sit back, watch, and learn.

 

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9 thoughts on “New “Awesome” Hammerhead Shark Discovered!

  1. I have seen a few sharks while diving and snorkling but the only hammerhead I ever saw was while windsurfing far of the coast of the Canary Islands and it was bigger than the board I was on and it was a tense moment for a short while 😀

    It’s really cool “they” still find new species in the ocean and I really hope the madness of finning will stop 😦

  2. Swam with sharks … Goosebumps!!! Hehe
    In that tank in Monterey Bay Aquarium, there are those gazillion tiny tiny little fishes … I was so amazed by it!

    • Yeah all the little sardines swimming around- they are so amazing to watch- it’s more like you are watching one giant organism then 100’s of small ones 🙂

      Was that your favorite exhibit?

    • Oh yeah I haven’t been to that one yet since they changed it from the SeaHorses- They had a Jelly Exhibit a couple years ago and it really is beautiful and astounding 🙂 I love the little cuttlefish they have on exhibit now! Even though I haven’t seen it personally- I see the pics they post online and they are so gosh darn cute 😀

  3. Pingback: 10 Best Ocean Stories from 2012 « Photography + Science = Chanel

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