Hammerhead shark species named after Carolinas

Hammerhead shark species named after Carolinas

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - South Carolina scientists have learned more about the mysteries that are lurking in the ocean.

The Carolina Hammerhead was actually identified a little more than a decade ago but not until now have scientists felt comfortable enough to name it. Researchers with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, University of South Carolina and South Carolina Department of National Resources discovered the shark near the Charleston Harbor and Beaufort.

The shark is thought to grow up to 11 feet and weigh about 400 pounds. They say it's similar to the well-known Scalloped Hammerhead, but the newly identified shark has fewer vertebrae.It has 83 to 91 versus 92 to 99.

NOAA says that means it likely won't grow as long. And sadly scientists say the Carolina Hammerhead and the Scalloped Hammerhead are actually dwindling in numbers.

Scientists collected dozens of sharks in the state in order to help them identify the Carolina Hammerhead.

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.