Sharks of Baja California

In the waters surrounding the Baja Peninsula navigate 34 of the more of 350 sharks species that exist in the world. Between the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortes) and Revillagigedo Islands, 386 km. (240 miles) south of Cabo San Lucas, it is possible

In the waters surrounding the Baja Peninsula navigate 34 of the more of 350 sharks species that exist in the world. Between the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortes) and Revillagigedo Islands, 386 km. (240 miles) south of Cabo San Lucas, it is possible to observe, above all, sharks that belong to two families, Requiem and Sphyrnidae.

Taxonomy: From Requiem family, three species are most commonly sighted in this area: galapago or (Carcharhinus galapaguensis), silky (Carcharhinus falciformis), and dusky (Carcharhinus obscurus).

To the second family, Sphyrnidae, belong hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini) that abound in these waters.

Appearance: Sharks of the Requiem family are active swimmers that act in groups or as single individuals. They have rounded snout and colors that range from brown to gray. With slender body, they resemble a torpedo. According to the species, sharks of this family range from less than one meter to 7 (from less than 40 inches to more than 24 feet) and individual species are hard to recognize given their similarities.

Hammerhead sharks shape of head makes them unmistakable and this part of their body can represent up to a third of their longitude. Their color is gray or brown whith shades of whites on the underside. When they are born, their size range from 40 to 55 cm. or 16 to 20 inches; however, adults reach up to 4.2 m. or almost 14 feet.

Diet: Most sharks of Requiem family are voracious predators and feed on other fishes, including sharks, rays, squids, octupuses, lobsters, turtles, marine mamals, sea birds and, sometimes, garbage and debris.

Hammerhead sharks feed on other fishes, cephalopods, crustaceans, and turtles.

Habitat: Requiem sharks are mainly circumtropical, but some species have been found in temperate waters. Most times, they are oceanic; they can be coastal though. Brown Requiem sharks can be more agressive than hammerhead sharks, but they are very curious and they move slowly to inspect the surroundings.

Hammerhead sharks usually live close to de coast, on the high points of submarine mountains, and in deep reefs. Schools with hundreds of hammerhead sharks have been seen in the reefs of the Sea of Cortes (Gulf of California), Revillagigedo Islands, and Cocos Island. In general, these sharks are not considered agressive towards divers or swimmers. But they never should be provoked because hammerhead sharks can swim about a yard per second, only on cruising speed.

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