Yes, sharks can hear, in fact, it’s one of the first signs that some prey is near.
In this article, we will look at if sharks can hear, if they have ears, and if sharks can hear your heartbeat. Secondly, we will also look at if a shark’s hearing will help them catch their prey.
Sharks are capable of hearing, in fact, they have an inner ear that allows them to hear in a wide range of frequencies. The range that their ability to hear at is not as wide as humans. However, it’s wide enough to make them a fierce predator.
Coming up in the article we will look at how sharks hear.
How do Sharks Hear?
Firstly, sharks hear thanks to their inner ear. This inner ear contains semi-circular canals. These canals are semi-circular. Inside each of the canals are 4 maculae. These areas are responsible for both sound perception and balance. Hairs line these areas.
In addition to this, these very small hairs help the sharks to pick up vibrations in the water around them. Prey splashing around in the water along with the sounds of injured prey cause the vibrations.
Incredibly, sharks can hear a wide range of frequencies. They range from 10 hertz all the way up to 800 hertz. In fact, sounds that are lower than 375 hertz can be heard by sharks very well. What this means is they can detect their prey at a distance of more than 800 feet. We humans can typically hear sounds anywhere between 25 hertz up to an impressive 16,000 hertz.
Finally, sharks do hear, although their hearing is different from ours. Sharks are better at hearing low vibrations than we are. It’s what makes them such good hunters.
Do Sharks Have Ears?
Yes, they do to a degree. as we have already seen, sharks hear thanks to their inner ear. This inner ear contains semi-circular canals. These canals are semi-circular.
Importantly, each of these inner ears is on either side of the shark’s head and they look like small holes. This is really the only indication of their ears, they are not anything like human ears.
Secondly, we have also already seen that sharks have 4 maculae which are found in the shark’s ear canals. Some of the maculae are there to pick up sounds.
Thirdly, the sacculus, utriculus, and lagena are responsible for sound perception and balance. Importantly, these parts contain tiny hairs. The hairs pick up the vibrations made the in water by prey.
Finally, these vibrations direct the shark toward their prey. This is what makes the sharks a more efficient hunter.
Can Sharks Hear Low Frequency Noises?
Impressively, sharks can hear low frequency/low pitched sounds. Firstly, 10 hertz is 1.5 octaves lower than the lowest piano key. Importantly, this means they can hear their prey well.
What this means is that a shark can hear injured prey splashing about in the water. Secondly, it also means they know where prey is. This allows the shark to close in on their prey. If a shark is hunting for food they can hear it up to 800 feet away.
Injured prey that’s in the vicinity of a hungry shark is unlikely to survive if it cannot swim away.
Can Sharks Hear Better Than Humans?
Without a doubt, sharks can hear some sounds better than humans. Impressively, they hear sounds that we cannot hear. In this respect, they can hear much better than we can. Lastly, we do not have a need to hear very low sounds.
Firstly, sharks need to hear those low vibrations. This is so they can detect prey. Secondly, we humans don’t need to hear very low sounds to survive. However, sharks do beat us when it comes to hearing very low sounds. Lastly, their range is so low that they can hear much lower vibrations than we can.
Can Sharks Hear your Heartbeat?
Without a doubt, a shark can hear their prey’s heartbeat. Secondly, this is because they need to hear when they’re close by.
Interestingly, if you were to get in shark-infested water they would hear your heartbeat. Without a doubt, this is because they use their sensory organs to pick up your heartbeat.
Sharks have ampullary organs that contain ionic currents. Secondly, one type of current is calcium current. This current is voltage-sensitive.
The calcium current responds to electrical disturbance. The second is a calcium-sensitive potassium current. It alters the cell’s electrical properties. Finally, the currents work together to create a vibration-like sound. This is a sound that the shark can latch onto.
Incredibly, in 2014, a diver came face to face with some sharks. Firstly, he wanted to take photographs of the shark. He worked out that when he was feeling fearful, the sharks would approach.
Amazingly, the sharks detected the diver’s electrical impulses. Beating rapidly, his heart gave off the impulses that the sharks could hear.
Should I Avoid Swimming in the Water?
Firstly, you do not have to stay away from the water completely. Without a doubt, you should stay out of shark-infested waters. Reassuringly, beaches often display flags if there are a lot of sharks in the water.
You should avoid going into the water if you know there are sharks present. Firstly, this is because they could detect your heartbeat. Secondly, they could also mistake you for prey.
Interestingly, sharks don’t attack humans on purpose. Without a doubt, a shark will attack a human if they mistake them for prey.
Finally, if you are not sure if sharks are swimming in the water, stay away. A shark can easily bite off a limb as they have very sharp teeth.
Will a Shark Hear Me Screaming in the Water?
Sharks are unable to hear very high frequencies. In other words, they’re unlikely to hear a child or a woman screaming in the water. However, they’re much more likely to hear a man who has a very deep voice. Finally, the voice will have to be very deep before a shark hears it. This is because they can hear only the lowest vibrations.
It is unlikely you will attract a shark by screaming in or above the water. A shark might hear you moving around in the water. However, you’ll have to move around at a speed and rate that is attractive to a shark. This might not be easy to do.
Does Their Hearing Help a Shark Catch its Prey?
Yes, there’s no doubt about it. Firstly, sharks need to hear those low vibrations. This is so they can detect prey. Sounds that are lower than 375 hertz can be heard by sharks very well. What this means is they can detect their prey at a distance of more than 800 feet.
In other words, a shark can hear injured prey splashing around in the water. They are making themselves known to predators by trying to swim away.
Secondly, it also means they know where they prey is. This allows the shark to close in on their prey. If a shark is hunting for food they can hear it up to 800 feet away.
Thirdly, a shark’s ears are very powerful. While the shark might not hear the same range that we humans do, they hear enough to survive.