Shark Communication

Shark Communication

Shark Social Behavior

Sharks are extremely intelligent creatures so it is no surprise to learn they have plenty of ways to engage in effective forms of communication. Yet sharks are generally loners so they aren’t in groups. This makes it harder to observe how they actually communicate with each other than with other animals that live in the water.

They have an amazing sense of hearing which is believed to be how they communicate most of the time. They can hear sounds at very low frequencies so a great deal of it won’t even be picked up during the observations. They can also use their senses that allow them to pick up vibrations and electrical currents from other sharks in the water with them.

Different Standards of Communication

A great deal of the communication though among sharks involves aggression. They will fight each other not for territory but for prey. One shark may kill something but many others are going to take the opportunity to get a piece of it. Sometimes such communications are friendly in nature. Most of the time though it ends up being a battle to see who can maintain control of the prey. This is why most sharks won’t kill something larger than they can immediately swallow unless they have no other choice.

The way in which a shark displays their body has a great deal to do with communication. They may use these non-verbal cues more than they use any types of sounds. It is believed that they send out vibrations to each other with the way in which they swim and other types of body movements. Humans can’t hear these types of communication though so it is very difficult for them to get an idea of what they really mean.

Communication for Mating, not Caring

Most of the time though such communication efforts will be put out there by males that are looking to mate with females. They don’t have any types of sounds that they can make for us to hear as whales and dolphins can. The males are very aggressive when they find a female though. They will bite her on the back to hold her in place as the mating is taking place.

Since sharks don’t care for their young, the ability to observe communications among mother’s and offspring simply isn’t there. That is disappointing because watching such interactions is a great way to find out about the communication skills of any animals. Therefore we have to rely upon how they communicate when they come into contact with each other.

Further Research to be Done

Most of what we do know about shark communication though is theory. There simply isn’t enough information to come up with all the answers. You will find plenty of conflicting information out there about it too. Some assume that sharks aren’t smart because they can’t make verbal sounds. This also leads to the misconception that they are machines programmed to kill other aquatic life and humans.

Even so, we do know that sharks are able to use their senses for communication. They don’t seem to be lacking in the ability to understand what other sharks around them are doing. Some of them may be a threat while others are there for them to have the opportunity to mate. How they will respond to such sharks in the area depends on the communications that have taken place between the two of them.

There is still plenty more though that needs to be learned about shark communication. Since they don’t do very well in captivity it is extremely difficult to observe them in such surroundings to learn more about it. The fact that they also live deep below the surface of the water makes it even harder to find out all there is about shark communications. Yet as we get more advanced technology we are able to learn more in their natural environments.