The new species looks similar to the pictured scalloped hammerhead shark.
Karen T. Borchers/San Jose Mercury News/MCT
The new species looks similar to the pictured scalloped hammerhead shark.

Story highlights

Carolina hammerhead features are indistinguishable from common scalloped hammerhead

University of South Carolina biology professor Joe Quattro led researchers

The state is a well-known pupping ground for several species of sharks

CNN —  

A team of University of South Carolina researchers has made a remarkable discovery: a rare new breed of hammerhead shark it has dubbed the Carolina hammerhead.

The shark’s outward features are indistinguishable from those of the common scalloped hammerhead, a kind of low profile that allowed it to go for so long without detection, according to a USC news release.

What’s new and distinct about the new species is that it has 10 fewer vertebrae than a scalloped hammerhead.

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South Carolina ichthyologist Joe Quattro, a USC biology professor, helped make the discovery.

“South Carolina is a well-known pupping ground for several species of sharks, including the hammerhead,” according to the USC release. “The female hammerhead will birth her young at the ocean-side fringes of the estuary; the pups remain there for a year or so, growing, before moving out to the ocean to complete their life cycle.”

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