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A Hammerhead Shark! Yikes! These magnificent beings have a special place in the waters of Costa Rica, particularly around areas like the Cocos Island National Park and the Gulf of Nicoya. Both spots are celebrated as marine havens and are UNESCO World Heritage sites. These sharks are foodies of the ocean, munching happily on fish, squid, and crustaceans. The fascinating shape of their hammer-like heads is not just for show; it provides them with better maneuverability and sensory capabilities during their hunts.

 

If the idea of a shark encounter while swimming sends shivers down your spine, worry not! Scalloped Hammerheads are pretty shy and usually steer clear of human interactions. Despite the general perception, most shark attacks are not attributable to Hammerheads. 

 

From January to April, the coastal waters of Costa Rica turn into a nursery for these incredible sea creatures. Female Hammerheads venture into shallower areas like the Bat Islands and Caño Island to give birth, creating natural sanctuaries where the young can grow in safety.

 

Unfortunately, life’s not all easy sailing for the Scalloped Hammerhead. They’re wrestling with challenges like overfishing and the destructive shark fin trade, and their numbers have dwindled enough to earn them a spot on the IUCN Red List as “Endangered.” Costa Rica is doing its part to safeguard these oceanic gems, but the road to their recovery is still long and filled with obstacles.

 

So, if you’re fortunate enough to see one of these iconic sharks in Costa Rican waters, take it as both an honor and a call to action. They are far more than just oceanic inhabitants; they’re a vital part of the ecosystem that requires our active participation to thrive.

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