The shark with the hammer-shaped head (Sphyrna zygaena) is a big eater and is potentially dangerous to humans. It has been found in New Zealand coastal waters, in up to 110 metres of water, and on the continental shelf. It is more commonly seen around the North Island.
When you are at the beach this summer, don't be surprised if you're swimming next to a sea snake with a paddle for a tail, a big-headed-turtle, or a magnificently coloured flat-faced fish. New Zealand's got its share of weird and wonderful marine visitors. Several species of sea snake and turtle regularly reach our waters.
They fly like birds under water and create strange pits in the sand. Eagle rays can be seen around New Zealand's coast in the summer months, when they come in to breed. Like their larger cousins, the longtail and shorttail stingrays, they have a sting in their tail.
The broadnose sevengill shark, Notorynchus cepedianus, is named descriptively after – wait for it– its broad snout and seven gill slits! Interestingly, most shark species only have five gills. The broadnose sevengill is one of New Zealand's more common inshore sharks.
Ever wondered what that brownish foam is that you sometimes see clinging to sandy beaches? It's easy to think the foam is a sign of pollution, but in fact it's a natural phenomenon associated with certain kinds of beaches, and the tiny organisms that live there.