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This unmistakable shark is occaisionally seen on Aliwal Shoal but it is at Ponta do Ouro that one can see huge schools of them. They generally attain a length of 3.5 (Maximum 4.0 ) metres and they eat cephalopods and crustaceans but also other sharks and their particular favorites- rays.

Their 'Ampoulae of Lorenzini' are especially well developed and are found right across the 'hammerhead'. They swim slowly just above the sand, swinging their heads from side to side exactly like a soldier with a mine detector and using a remarkably similar technology. In this way, they locate rays buried in the sand and devour them with apparant total lack of respect for the rays sting.

At Ponta do Ouro between November and May, we see huge schools of Scalloped Hammerheads travelling at only about 5 metres depth who totally ignore divers doing a backward roll entry and finding themselves surrounded by uncountable numbers of large sharks.

Often smaller groups of 10 - 20 Scalloped Hammerheads who are not in transit, come deeper (around 20 metres) approach and swim around and sometimes through a group of divers.

There is something - impossible to explain to people who have not dived with these sharks - that is so overwhelming about Hammerheads. In a photograph one has the impression of a grotesque form but in the water with them, one somehow knows that their bizarre shape worksgives them a distinct advantage over other sharks. One dive with Hammers and you will understand and never forget the experience.

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