Depending on why you would like to know if there are hammerhead sharks in Florida, will depend on if you end up happy after reading this article. There are two main types of hammerhead sharks in the oceans, which are the scalloped hammerhead and the great hammerhead, but you may not be interest in the types of hammerheads and just want to know; are there hammerhead sharks in Florida?
Hammerhead sharks live in Florida including great hammerhead sharks and scalloped hammerheads. Great hammerhead sharks can be found patrolling Florida’s beaches for food, which includes blacktip sharks. Whilst hammerheads come close to humans on Florida’s beaches, it’s rare they attack people.
If you are like me, then you’ll be excited at the prospect of seeing hammerhead sharks in Florida.
You may also be interested in great white sharks as well as in hammerhead sharks, and where these can be discovered too. If you are, then please take a read of this article: Where to find great white sharks. The places that surprised me the most were Florida Keys and the great white shark spotted by a snorkeler on the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. But you may also like to read about great white sharks in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico too.
Where do hammerhead sharks live in Florida?
Great hammerhead sharks in Florida tend to live in South Florida, but are found from Jacksonville to Key West in the South, and then up the west coast to Clearwater Beach and beyond. They live in the open ocean and the shallow coastal waters of both the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts of Florida.
Where can I see hammerheads in Florida?
One of the best places to see hammerheads is off Palm Beach Florida during the black tip shark migration from mid-January for about two months every year. You may be luck to spot large great hammerheads hunting the blacktips as they migrate south (see video below).
The black tip migration begins round December time, and these large schools of blacktip sharks slowly migrate south towards Miami and further south to the Florida Keys and warmer waters. Which means at different times during this blacktip migration, you might be luck to see feeding hammerheads in different locations along the Atlantic east coast of Florida.
In the following video you see scuba divers with great hammerheads in Palm Beach.
You can also see hammerheads in Pensacola, FL as seen in this video of hammerheads in the shallows off the beach.
What type of hammerheads live in Florida
Florida is home to the solitary living great hammerhead sharks and to scalloped hammerheads that tend to live in schools. Both of the hammerhead shark species live on the east and west coasts of the Florida panhandle, but more are found in south Florida.
Are hammerhead sharks endangered in Florida?
The hammerhead sharks in Florida were put on the critically endangered list in 2019, as hammerheads, along with other shark species, are being killed in huge numbers for their fins. The problem is made worse for hammerhead sharks, as they breed so infrequently, which is once every two years.
Do hammerhead sharks attack people?
Hammerhead sharks will only attack people if provoked, but they don’t actively seek out humans as prey. Hammerhead sharks are aggressive hunters like all sharks, but they feed on other sharks, small fish, octopuses, rays and squid.
If you want proof they don’t attack people, please watch this video of a great hammerhead shark in Florida swimming around a swimmer in the shallows on a Florida beach. You’ll notice the large hammerhead circles the man, who is oblivious to the shark’s presence, but then swims away when it realises he isn’t its normal prey.
“Hammerhead shark story: This question about do hammerhead sharks attack people, reminds me of when I was swimming in off a beach in South Africa in beautiful Plettenburg Bay. I was staying in a great little bed and breakfast overlooking the bay, and as I was drinking my morning tea I noticed a pod of about 50 dolphins playing just off the beach.
I finished my tea and rushed down to the beach and swam out to the dolphins. To my surprise the dolphins came to me and swam around me, which made my day. As I was enjoying the dolphin experience, I noticed a microlight flying above me over the beach, but I didn’t think much more about this, even though he flew back and forth a few times.
However, later that day I went on a shore dive with a group of people, and at the end of the dive we went for a beer to chat about the dive and other stuff. I happened to recount my story of swimming with the dolphins that morning, when one of the group said “that was you in the water with the dolphins?” He then proceeded to tell me how I had been surrounded by hammerhead sharks. But the moral of the story is that, despite being surrounded by hammerheads just off the beach, none of them attacked me. My only thought at the time was how disappointed I was not to have taken my mask and snorkel with me, so I could have seen the hammerhead sharks.”
You may then want to watch the following video of another even bigger great hammerhead shark filmed hunting blacktip sharks off the beaches in Florida.
Notice how fast this hammerhead shark can move when in attack mode, which goes to show that the man in the above video didn’t stand a chance, had the hammerhead shark wanted to attack him.
What is the size of a hammerhead shark?
The longest ever recorded great hammerhead shark was 6.1 metres (20 feet) in length, and weighed 450kg (991lbs). Scalloped hammerhead sharks are the smaller of the species and grow to around 4.3 metres (14 ft) with a maximum weight of 152kg (340lb).
Before you go, you may be as fascinated as I was when I found out what fish eat sharks. In this article there are three amazing videos of other fish eating sharks whole: What Fish Can Eat Sharks, for me it’s the first video I was most amazed at.
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