The Life Cycle of a Hammerhead Shark

By Cate Rushton; Updated April 24, 2017
The Life Cycle of a Hammerhead Shark

There are nine species of hammerhead sharks. They are found in oceans all over the world. The hammerhead is easily identified by its distinctively shaped head, which allows it to hunt prey efficiently since its eyes are spaced farther apart than other sharks.

Birth

Gestation is 10 to 12 months, and a female shark typically has a litter of 30 to 50 pups every year.

Once born, shark pups immediately leave their mother, who may be inclined to eat them. They begin hunting in shallow water for their own food.

Migration

Most species of hammerhead sharks migrate toward cooler water in the poles every year. Mass migrations of hundreds of hammerheads have been documented.

Size

Hammerhead sharks range in size from 13 to 20 feet, and can weigh between 500 and 1,000 lbs.

Diet

Hammerheads dine on fish, squid and octopuses. They do not typically attack humans, but can be aggressive if threatened.

Longevity

Hammerhead sharks can live up to 30 years.

About the Author

Cate Rushton has been a freelance writer since 1999, specializing in wildlife and outdoor activities. Her published works also cover relationships, gardening and travel on various websites. Rushton holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Utah.