Snorkeling and diving in The Galapagos Islands offers all kinds of wonderful sights, one of the most exciting being the hammerhead shark. The hammerhead shark found here is the Scalloped Hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini), one of eight species found in the world.
The Scalloped Hammerhead can be found on the islands all year long, but their numbers are highest in January, lowest in May, and it is still unknown when these secretive animals mate and give birth on the archipelago.
A bit more elusive, The Scalloped Hammerhead is mainly found in some more remote places that are popular spots for diving tours. They are normally found around Wolf, the Northern islands of Darwin and sometimes around Kicker Rock (AKA Leon Dormido). They will be seen swimming amongst schools of fish, or skimming the ocean floor in search of one of their favorite foods, stingrays.
These sharks are very interesting in many ways. First, hammerhead sharks are fish, but they actually give birth to live young, not eggs. As well, when the babies are born their heads are much rounder and they get the “hammer” shape as they grow. Last, the question that we all want to ask is, why is hammerhead shark’s head shaped like that? Well, this oddly shaped head actually helps it see better, swim faster, and hunt better than some other sharks as it has an increased surface area for special electrosensory pores called Ampullae of Lorenzini. Despite its awesome hunting ability, hammerhead sharks pose virtually no threat to humans.
Whether or not you see a hammerhead shark is up to a bit of luck, but we invite you to explore the incredible archipelago with us and see the many wonders that it has to offer.