Alex Mustard - Nocturnal Hammerhead
Great hammerhead sharks are one of the most impressive predators in the seas. They are big. Very big. Females like this one grow to over 600cm long and they are bulky too. But helped by their hydrodynamic hammer-shaped head they are also incredibly manoeuvrable. By tilting their head over they can spin around, changing direction by 180 degrees in half their body length. It reminds me of driving with my hand out of the window of the car and feeling it immediately pull one way or the other when I move it just one way or the other. I don’t know another big predator than can change direction like this.
The hammer also provides enhanced senses, including a wide spread of the electro-sensitive ampullae of Lorenzini (the black dots on the underside of the hammer), enhancing stereoscopic vision and providing a directional sense of smell with widely spaced nostrils.This hammerhead is being followed by a gang of bar jacks, predators of small fish in their own right.
The Bahamas National Shark Sanctuary. South Bimini, Bahamas. Gulf Stream, West Atlantic Ocean.
Location: South Bimini, Bahamas.