Want to go shark fishing?
Book the Shark Wrangler as your guide or go on a kayak tour of South Carolina

Bonnethead Sharks
Sphyrna tiburo

If you have more questions about this species or any other species of shark, ask the Shark Wrangler!
He has handled live sharks of every species on this site except blues and makos.

These pages are brought to you by
Atlantic Sharpnose
Oceanic Whitetip
Sand tiger

Smooth Dogfish
Spiny Dogfish

Anatomical Page

See Video of Sharks Collected by the Shark Wrangler Now

Shark Wrangling Classes


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.

bonnet_head_body.jpg (21699 bytes)

bonnet_head_cuampul.jpg (16855 bytes)
from 4  foot shark

Body Dorsal
Head Side View
Snout Ventral