Great Hammerhead, Sphyrna mokarran (Rueppell, 1837) in Captivity

Thanks for information and photos to Jack Jewell at Mandalay Bay. Page was updated by Filipe Pereira in September 2009.

Photograph Aquarium and Details TL (m)
M (kg)
Time in captivity
Images/GreatHHAtlantisAq.jpg Atlantis Paradise Island Resort, Bahamas
The world's largest marine habitat has also the largest collection of great hammerhead sharks in captivity found in public aquariums, presenting several specimens, mostly juveniles, in its Predator Lagoon. These individuals share their tank with other shark species, barracudas, giant groupers, rays and schooling tropical fish.
Images/GreatHHAdventureAq.jpg Adventure Aquarium, New Jersey
On August 29, 2008, a male great hammerhead shark arrived to the aquarium in Camden, measuring 6 feet (TL, 1.8 m) and weighing 80 lbs (36.3 kg). The specimen was released into a holding pen set on one side of the huge 760,000-gallon Ocean Realm exhibit for observation and acclimation. Its adaptation was so fast, it could be transferred to the main exhibit tank in less than a month, where it swims currently alongside with a tiger shark, two bowmouth guitarfish, a loggerhead sea turtle and many other oceanic fish.


Images/GreatHHGeorgiaAq.jpg Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta
When it opened to the public in 2007, the world's largest public aquarium had a pair of great hammerhead sharks in its massive 6.3 million-gallon Ocean Voyager exhibit, but the female died. In February 2009 the aquarium acquired another pair from the Florida Keys and now (Sep 2009) holds three specimens, two males and one female which range in size from 5 to 7 feet TL (1.5-2.1 m) and weigh between 44 and 89 lbs (20-40 kg).
  Mote Marine Lab (Sarasota FL, USA).
New seawater facility for experimental research on large elasmobranchs and other marine species. Morris et al. (2005) AES annual meeting abstract.

Shark Reef Exhibit at Mandalay Bay, (Las Vegas NV, USA)
This juvenile female hammerhead was transported in August 2001 (is pdf) from Marathon FL to Las Vegas NV in about 16 hours. It was kept for 27 months in the Animal Husbandry Center. On 3 Nov. 2003, the now 6' (ca. 1.8 m) shark was placed in the 1.3 million Shark Reef Exhibit at Mandalay Bay. Fact Sheet.for Great Hammerhead (is pdf). It died due to a spiral valve infection in Dec. 2004 when it was ca. 2 m long.


3.3 y;
1.1 y on exhibit
Photograph Aquarium and Details TL (m)
M (kg)
Time in captivity

Created March 2003, revised September 2009. Back to previous page
Please send comments or corrections to