What Is A Shark’s Sense Of Hearing Like?

Sharks are famous for having a great sense of smell, but not everyone knows they also have amazing hearing. Like other sea creatures, sharks have special ways to sense and understand sound waves underwater. Let’s learn about a shark’s hearing.

Importance of Sound in Underwater Environment

First, it’s important to know that sound travels differently in water than air. Water is denser, so sound moves faster and farther. This means sound is very important for marine creatures to talk, find their way, and detect food or danger.

Shark’s Body Parts that Help Them Detect Sound Waves

Sharks have body parts that help them detect and understand sound waves underwater. The most important is the lateral line system, which goes along their body. It has canals filled with liquid that have special cells that feel vibrations in the water. These cells are connected to nerves that send messages to the brain, so the shark knows what sounds are in its environment.

Sharks also have ear parts like land animals do. They have semicircular canals that help them keep balance and orientation in water, and otolith organs that feel changes in movement and speed. These parts work with the lateral line system to give sharks a full sense of what’s around them.

Different Types of Sounds Sharks Can Hear

Sharks can hear many different sounds. They can hear low sounds from far away, like waves or fish nearby. They can also hear high sounds that other animals use to talk or warn about danger. Some studies say sharks can even hear fish struggling or people swimming.

Even though sharks have great hearing, they can’t hear every sound the same way. Like other animals, they hear best the sounds that are common in their environment. For example, sharks that live in shallow water hear high sounds better, and sharks in deeper water hear low sounds better.


In conclusion, sharks use their sense of hearing to survive in the water. They use the lateral line system and ear parts to understand sound waves and find their way, talk, and detect prey or danger. As we keep learning about these amazing animals, we might discover more about how they sense the world around them.