Q:

How do sharks communicate?

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Quick Answer

Different sharks communicate within their own species in different ways; for example, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History reports that great white sharks can communicate with each other by gaping their jaws while the University of Michigan says that gray reef sharks communicate using their senses of sight and touch. In general, sharks are not believed to have linguistic communication abilities, relying instead on other senses to communicate.

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Full Answer

While sharks have not been determined to have a sophisticated ability to communicate in complex ways that can be observed and recorded by scientists, they do have special sensory organs that humans lack. This organ consists of an electromagnetic sensor organ, typically located in the head; again, this may vary by species. For example, goblin sharks have a long, flat snout, and it is believed that this shape is an adaptation designed to help the sharks, which can live in the dark depths of the ocean, navigate and find prey fish.

While sharks do congregate for purposes like feeding and mating, they do tend to be mostly solitary animals so their communication needs may not be terribly complex. This may explain why these highly effective predators have not adapted sophisticated communication techniques in addition to the sense, such as electromagnetism, which can help them hunt.

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