Winghead Shark Pictures

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Winghead Shark Photos - A Hammerhead Shark With Unusually Long and Slender Head Lobes

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The Winghead Shark, Eusphyra blochii, is a type of hammerhead shark of the family Sphyrnidae. It is the lone species in the genus Eusphyra, and has proportionally longer, slimmer lobes on its head than do other species of hammerhead. It is believed that the winghead shark was the earliest hammerhead species in evolutionary history to diverge from non-lobed sharks. It is a fairly small shark, considered harmless to people, and it is fished commercially throughout its range in the Indo-Pacific waters. Its range extends from the Persian Gulf in the West to Indonesia and northern Australia in the Southeast, and as far north as China.

Winghead sharks are gray, light brown or grayish brown, with a lighter colored underside. Their maximum recorded body length is 186 cm (73 in), with average length being 130 cm (51 in). Their head, measured from the tip of one narrow lobe to the other, is 40-50% the length of their body. It has long nostrils that extend nearly the length of each lobe, making them longer than its crescent shaped mouth. The lobes, as with all hammerheads, are presumed to provide maximum surface area for electroreceptors, which locate prey by detecting minute electrical impulses generated by muscle activity in the organisms the shark preys on. The diet of winghead sharks is bony fish, crustaceans and cephalopods (squid, octopus and cuttlefish).

As with all sharks, reproduction is slow. Females are viviparous; they have a gestation of 8 to 11 months and give birth to 6-11 live pups each year. Pups are 32-45 cm (13-18 in) at birth.

Winghead sharks are preyed upon by larger sharks, and in greater numbers by man. They are caught in gill nets by near-shore fishermen and are taken throughout their range in the shallow waters of the continental shelves where they live. They are particularly exploited along the coasts of Southeast Asia. Their flesh is sold in fish markets, their liver is used for fish oil and vitamins, and remaining parts are used for fishmeal. The IUCN Red List reports this species as Near Threatened, but on a downward trend which will likely go to Vulnerable in the near future. Populations around Australia are considered fairly healthy.

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Picture of the head of a winghead shark, Eusphyra blochii, Northern Australia, Indo-Pacific Ocean Ocean

Picture #: 071117


Stock photo of a winghead shark, Eusphyra blochii, Northern Australia, Indo-Pacific Ocean Ocean

Picture #: 071116



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