Shark Ears: Can Sharks Hear?

can sharks hear

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Sharks are some of the most well-adapted predators in the ocean. They have incredible senses, allowing them to detect a single drop of blood from as far as a quarter-mile away.

But what about a sharking hearing? Can sharks hear?

In a nutshell, yes they certainly can. A shark’s hearing is arguably their most impressive sense, it allows them to detect prey’s slightest movement easily, revealing their location to the shark.

Let’s take a closer look…

Do Sharks Have Ears?

Although a shark’s ears aren’t as obvious as some other animals, they do have them.

A shark’s ears are located on either side of their heads, just behind the eyes. From the outside, they look like two small holes.

If you didn’t know sharks had ears, you wouldn’t, because these holes are so small that they are barely visible.

They only actually have an inner ear, which consists of three chambers and an ear stone called an otolith.

Do Sharks Have Good Hearing?

A shark’s ear is incredibly impressive. It can detect sounds, acceleration, and gravity, which helps the shark identify its prey’s precise location in the water.

Some sharks’ hearing is so good that they can hear sounds as far as 800 feet away.

A human can hear sounds ranging from 25Hertz to 16,000Hertz whereas a shark can hear from up to 240 meters away with a frequency range from 10Hz to 800Hz with 375Hz being the best frequency.

Sharks can hear frequencies that are lower than what people can hear. Extremely low sounds are more like vibrations than what we would define as a sound.

These are detected by a system called the “Lateral Line System” which is shared by sharks and many different species of fish.

This system consists of tiny little pores containing cells that have little hairs on them, and when water moves over the pores, it moves over the hairs which help the shark detect the vibration.

When all the pores work together, they are incredibly efficient at detecting sound and allow the shark to hear even the slightest sound or movement.

This makes sharks incredible at hunting in low light as they can detect their prey moving without having to see what is going on.

Can Sharks Hear Humans?

Sharks are certainly able to hear humans whilst they are in the water. Their hearing is incredible and coupled with their sense of smell and eye-sight, they are well aware of their surroundings.

That said, it’s unlikely that they would be able to hear humans if they were outside the water, as in on a boat.

This is because the sound in water is much clearer for sharks, whereas the sound outside has water between it that acts as a barrier, making it more difficult for sharks to hear.

Can Sharks Hear Your Heartbeat?

Don’t panic too much, but yes, sharks are able to detect a human heartbeat whilst in the water. Supposedly sharks are able to feel the electric impulses of a dying fish from up to a mile away.

Sharks can respond to the heartbeat of their prey through their super-sensitive electro-sensory organs.

Some experts even believe that if you’re able to slow your heartbeat down whilst being around a shark, you’re less likely to be attacked or looked at as prey.

Sharks are able to detect the current of their prey’s heartbeat within a distance of around 100m.

This is an excellent ability and one that makes the shark the predator that they are today. Being able to detect wounded fish or other prey animals certainly gives them an advantage when hunting.

Final Thoughts

So, can sharks hear? Absolutely! They have incredible hearing that allows them to detect prey that is up to 800m away without seeing it.

This allows them to be excellent hunters in low light, as they can quickly identify the location of prey without using their eyes.

Sharks have amazing hearing, and although they don’t have visible ears as we humans do, their hearing is much better at picking up low-frequency sounds.

Sharks have evolved over millions of years to be optimal apex predators, and without their hearing, they would not be as effective as they are today.

Hopefully, this post has been helpful and you’ve learned something new today about sharks hearing.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post and feel free to stick around to learn more about sharks and other marine wildlife.