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|This species of shark is directly
related to the Hammerheads. Bonnetheads are often mistaken for hammerheads due to
the bonnet shape of their snout (for which they are name). They, however, are a much
more amiable species than the others in their family. They do not attack humans
despite their close regular human contact.
They range the warm waters of SC to the Gulf of Mexico. This species does not mind hot water.
Bonnetheads feed on smaller prey. They are smart hunters using water depth to trap prey. Their head shape gives them impressive swimming maneuverability. They usually cruise placidly accelerating powerfully for the attack. They will pack with hammerhead pups and juveniles in the hunt. Large females will also work together with smaller hammerheads during feeding.
Bonnetheads have litters of 12 or more young every other year. They are a resilient species with moderate pressure on their numbers (especially in Florida where they are targeted for display). They can rebound quickly and are great survivors. They have more pressure on them in South Carolina where the explosion of Sandbar sharks and Mini-bull sharks appears to be affecting their numbers. Also, Army Corp of Engineer dredging in the nurseries of this species during the annual migration is interfering with their normal migration and arrival.
This beautiful species is on the rise in public aquariums. The pups of this species are being kept by home aquarist. But, I ask that you not attempt to keep this species (even a pup) if you do not have ample space. They require a large aquarium for display as an obligate swimmer.