Hammerhead shark found on Papamoa Beach

Photos of a hammerhead shark discovered washed up on the shore at Papamoa beach has surfaced online.

The photos were uploaded to the Papamoa, New Zealand Facebook page by Ania Mikrut who says she stumbled upon the shark near the Papamoa Surf Life Saving Club on Saturday morning.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before. To be honest, I didn’t even know what it was,” she says with a chuckle. “It was a bit of weird thing to discover.”

“It probably would have been about a metre long I think.”

According to the Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand website, hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna zygaena) can grow up to four metres in length, and their distinctive skulls are believed to help them detect prey, as well as add lift, like a hydrofoil, to counteract the downward push of the tail.

Known in Māori as ‘kakere’ or ‘mangōpare’, hammerheads are often spotted in the waters around the North Island, with juveniles about 50cm in length sometimes seen in the Hauraki Gulf.