SHARK!

We finally saw a shark here on Kauai, right at our favorite swimming beach. And not just one, but two. However, they were both small young ones that had washed up dead in one of the storms last week. They were drying out on the sand and being eaten by crabs and insects, and it was rather sad to see such a beautiful animal like this.

Surprisingly, they were both scalloped hammerhead sharks, which I think of as a rare animal but is in fact quite common in Hawaii. They are called scalloped because of the rounded bumps on the leading edge of the “hammer” and named mano kihikihi in Hawaiian. It does appear that a hammerhead shark will attack humans, but more for protection than food, and not with the deadly consequences of other sharks, due to their smaller mouth.

We have heard of a non-fatal shark attack at Wailua beach, one source interviews the surfer who said it was about 75 yards/meters from shore and was probably mistaken for a turtle, but it is not listed at hawaiisharks.com. I doubt that sharks would come closer to the beach where we swim.

The shark in this picture is about 18 inches (45 cm) long:

A dried out baby hammerhead shark lying on the sand, with parts eaten away by crabs

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