Hammerhead Predators: What Eats Hammerhead Sharks?
Hammerhead Predators: What Eats Hammerhead Sharks?

Hammerhead Predators: What Eats Hammerhead Sharks?

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Earth is home to many unique creatures. From elephants to puffer fish, they all have their roles to play. But for hammerhead sharks, some of the most mysterious fish in the ocean, the bigger question might be: What eats hammerhead sharks? We all know that sharks are carnivorous predators who rely on hunting marine creatures to survive, but do they have any natural predators? The answer may surprise you. It’s closer to home than you might think.

Here, we’ll learn about hammerhead sharks, where they live, and what they look like. Next, we’ll look at the five most famous hammer-eating creatures. For each, we’ll find out more about them before hitting the surprising top spot on our list. Finally, we’ll dig deeper into shark ecology and find out why hammerhead sharks are in danger of disappearing from our oceans and why this is important.

Keep reading to find out what hammerhead sharks eat!

Getting to know hammerhead sharks

Big Hammer in the Bahamas.  They are aggressive hunters and will attack if threatened.
There are nine types of hammerhead shark.

Sailing away for deep diving / Shutterstock.com

Hammerhead sharks are among the strangest animals on the planet. Their eyes are located on either end of their head in the shape of a hammer, giving them a 360-degree field of view. But the hammer does more than just give them an excellent view; This also means that they are incredibly sensitive to even the smallest stimulus. A hammerhead shark can sense a fish moving even when it is buried in the sand.

These amazing sharks are frightening, but they have never been involved in any human deaths. This does not mean that they will not bite if they are threatened or provoked. Hammerhead sharks are still wild animals with sharp teeth and a predatory nature. They should be treated with respect and caution when confronted. Adult hammerheads have no natural predators, with the exception of number one on our list.

Where do hammerhead sharks live?

The creatures that eat hammerhead sharks must go to shallow and coastal waters to find their hammerhead prey. Hammerheads are not deep-ocean sharks. Instead, they occupy warm, shallow waters off the coasts of Australia, Asia, Africa, South America, Central America, and southern parts of North America. They also live near islands such as Hawaii and New Zealand.

What do Hammerheads eat?

5. Hammer heads

baby shark hammer closeup
Adult hammerheads can prepare a meal of young hammerheads.

Michael_19 / Shutterstock.com

This may come as a surprise, but one of the fish that eat hammerhead sharks is none other than the hammerhead itself. Adult hammerheads don’t discriminate when it comes to a meal; If a small hammerhead gets too close, it may become a dinner for adults.

4. Tiger Shark

Biggest tiger shark - tiger sharks swim together
Tiger sharks have unique teeth that are flat, serrated, and curved to one side to help slice through the delicate flesh of fish.

iStock.com/Howard Chen

Tiger sharks, known for their tiger-like stripes on their sides and tendency to eat trash, eat just about anything. They eat hammerhead sharks, seals, sea lions, sea turtles, bony fish, and rays. Adult tiger sharks don’t think twice about snacking on a small hammerhead or two.

3. Orca whales

Apex Predator: Killer Whales
Also known as killer whales, they are much smaller than blue or sperm whales but larger than dolphins and porpoises.

slowmotiongli / Shutterstock.com

Orca whales are known for their amazing tricks in water parks, and they actually inhabit all of the world’s oceans. Orcas eat hammerhead sharks, but only on very rare occasions. Their prey often includes seals and sea lions, as well as baby blue whales and humpback whales.

2. Great White Sharks

Biggest shark: the great white
The great white shark is notorious for being a cold-blooded killer.

wildestanimal / Shutterstock.com

Another fish that eats hammerhead sharks is the infamous great white shark. Although great whites don’t specifically target hammerheads, they are opportunistic hunters who won’t turn down an easy meal. This is especially true of the large white juveniles (less than nine feet) who spend their formative years in shallow coastal waters. In those years, great whites shared the same water as hammerhead sharks. Therefore, when an infant hammerhead crosses the path of a large, hungry white semi-adult, it is likely to become lunch.

1. Humans

Baby hammerhead shark released after being caught
Humans are responsible for most hammerhead deaths.

starryvoyage / Shutterstock.com

This is correct! There is no animal on Earth that eats more hammerhead sharks than humans. The most common form of consumption comes from shark fin soup, which is a staple delicacy in many Asian countries. Unfortunately, the taste of shark fin soup, along with a few other factors, has led to a sharp decline in hammerhead numbers worldwide.

Abstaining from eating sharks is one of the most important aspects of shark conservation today. There are some good reasons to avoid the meat of these predators. First, shark meat tends to have an unpleasant taste. But, what’s more, it contains very high levels of mercury, which makes eating it not only environmentally disastrous but dangerous.

Why are hammerhead sharks important

Hammerhead sharks, like all sharks, are large patties at the top of the food chain or food web. The health of oceanic ecosystems rests on their shoulders or fins. That’s because hammerhead sharks are a primary species. If we are to preserve these wonderful fish for future generations and for the health of our oceans, it is important that we act now. Educate yourself about protecting sharks and sharks, and reduce the amount of plastic, especially single-use plastics, that you use. Choose sustainable seafood options, and never eat shark meat.

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