As the saying goes... if there's no proof then you didn't see it! But I think as clearly proved in the above photo taken yesterday on Koh Phangan - yes that is indeed a Hammerhead Shark! Not seen in the Gulf of Thailand before this little fellow was seen in the shallows off Hin Kong Beach yesterday. As a general rule single sightings tend to occur more frequently near to the shore whereas oceanic islands and sea-mounts are really where you want to be to experience a school in all their glory.AS much as I'd love to see a school in all their glory I'm just as excited to see this single fellow wandering around our waters. Now chances are he's going to head out to Sail Rock shortly so we'll plan a trip or 2 over the next week to see if we can't catch up with him underwater too.
Unfortunatley its not easy to identify what type of Hammerhead it is by this photo but what we know of hammerheads in general is that where scuba divers find scalloped hammerhead sharks, they may also come across 9 other related species which can be distinguished quite easily by appearance, mostly on the basis of the difference in their hammers. Great hammerheads are one of the largest flesh-eating fish in the world and can reach up to 7 metres in length. Its hammer lacks distinctive scallops on its T-shaped head which has 1 central notch. The smooth hammerhead, has a smooth edge to its flat head and a whitefin hammerhead shark, found only off the Ivory Coast, has white fins, believe it or not. Equally surprising is that the smalleye or golden hammerhead has small eyes and a golden hue on its body. The scalloped bonnethead hammerhead shark differs from the scalloped hammerhead most notably with its arc-shapped hammer.
As soon as we find out what type of Hammer this guy is we'll get right back to you with a report.