Male Hammerhead Sharks Selectively Choose a Mate
Hammerhead sharks can produce up to 40 babies each year. The male hammerhead sharks prefer larger females because they have been shown to have more babies, or pups. The larger females can bear 3 to 4 times more pups than the smaller or younger females. The bigger females are almost always located in the middle of a school of hammerheads where she is most protected. This is also the first place male hammerheads go when they are looking for a female to mate with. After the male hammerhead shark finds the female he wants to mate with he will pull her away from the school of hammerhead sharks and mate with her out in the ocean away from all the other sharks. The male likes to be in a private area before mating will begin.
Mating Can be Violent
The male and female sharks will briefly become more acquainted with each other before mating begins. After this very quick moment the male will begin to become very aggressive with his female partner. It almost looks as if he is tormenting her and she may fight back at first. He will nip and bite her in a very violent manner until she totally submits to him and then mating can begin. The female hammerhead shark will end up on her back as they tussle about under water. The male may also resort to getting her to submit several times by continuing to be violent. The male shark will mount himself on top of the female and insert his penis inside of her several times until fertilization happens. After a female becomes pregnant she will carry the baby hammerheads in her womb for an average of 10 to 12 months.
Hammerhead Sharks Give Live Birth
When the female hammerhead shark is ready to deliver her babies she will move to more shallow waters. Shallow waters are generally free from many other predators so there is a certain level of safety that females feel in these waters. The female will give birth to the baby hammerheads one by one, and they are only able to come out easily because the hammers on their heads haven't fully hardened yet. They are flexible which enables them to move out of the birth canal and be born. After the pups are born, they are on their own to fend for themselves. The mother does not stay with the babies for any length of time. She basically gives birth and immediately leaves them.
How Many Teeth Do Sharks Have?
The menacing sight of an open shark's mouth is characterized by many sharp teeth. This leads one to the question: Just how...
How Many Teeth Does a Dolphin Have?
Dolphins are some of the friendliest creatures in the ocean, but if they ever bite you with their large jaw full of...
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...
Body Parts of a Hammerhead Shark
Hammerheads are some of the most distinctive and well known of the more than 400 species of sharks. This family includes the...
How to Make a Model of a Hammerhead Shark
The great hammerhead shark, sphyrna mokarra, was named by Eduard Ruppell in 1837, for its distinctive hammer-shaped head. (Sphyrna is greek for...
How Do Saltwater Fish Mate?
Saltwater fish mate and reproduce in a number of different ways, including broadcast spawning and internal fertilization. Find out how the males...