Winghead shark

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Winghead shark
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Order: Carcharhiniformes
Family: Sphyrnidae
Genus: Eusphyra
Species: E. blochii
Map of where the winghead shark is found (In blue)

The winghead shark (Eusphyra blochii) is a species of Hammerhead shark. This shark gets its name from the wide lobes on its head. It is the only member in the genus Eusphyra. It is a small and harmless species, and is fished throughout its range.

Description[change | edit source]

Like all other Hammerhead sharks, the winghead shark has a "hammer" on its head known as the "cephalofoil". The winghead shark's cephalofoil is very long and thin, making it different from other Hammerhead sharks. The width of its cephalofoil is 40 to 50% of the body length. The cephalofoil is arrow-shaped from above, and has small bumps in front of the nostrils. Unlike other Hammerhead sharks the nostrils are closer to the centre of the cephalofoil than the ends. The winghead shark is normally grey, greyish-brown or light brown in colour. It is a small shark, usually growing up to the length of 130 cm (51 inches), but the longest ever found was 186 cm (73 in) long.

Where they live[change | edit source]

The winghead shark is found in shallow waters on the continental shelves of the Western Indo-Pacific, from the Persian Gulf to the Philippines, north to China and Taiwan, and south to Queensland and the Northern Territory of Australia. The winghead shark sometimes enters the brackish water of estuaries.

Feeding[change | edit source]

The winghead shark feeds on bony fish, crustaceans, and cephalopods like squid, octopus and cuttlefish.

Reproduction[change | edit source]

Like most other Hammerhead sharks, the winghead shark is viviparous. Near Bombay winghead shark's mating season takes place during June and August, and females are pregnant for around 8 to 11 months before giving birth to their young during April and May. Near Australia, females are pregnant for 10 to 11 months before giving birth to their young in February and March. Females give birth to 6-25 pups every year, with the young measuring 32–45 cm (13-18 in) long. winghead shark mature when they are around 110 cm long.

References[change | edit source]