Do Sharks Have Ears? Get The Answer!

  • By: Alex
  • Date: July 29, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Most people associate sharks with a sense of smell. Indeed, this is one of the most important senses for these predators. But what about their hearing? Do sharks have ears?

Most people associate sharks with a sense of smell. Indeed, this is one of the most important senses for these predators. But what about their hearing? Do sharks have ears?

Sharks have ear openings but are tiny and hidden behind their eyes. Sharks also have a unique organ called the ampullae of Lorenzini, which can detect electrical fields.

This organ helps them to locate prey, even in murky waters. However, it is not clear how well sharks can hear using these organs.

In captivity, sharks have been known to respond to low-frequency sounds, but it is not known if they can hear high-frequency sounds like human speech.

Additionally, some researchers believe that the vibrations caused by sound may be more critical to sharks than the actual sound itself. For example, sharks can sense the vibrations caused by struggling prey from far away.

Sharks have a sixth sense

Sharks have a sixth sense.

What truly sets sharks apart from other predators is their unique sixth sense. This sense, known as electroreception, allows sharks to detect even the slightest movements in the water.

Sharks can locate their prey from great distances and attack with deadly precision by picking up on electrical impulses.

In fact, this sense is so sensitive that some scientists believe sharks may be able to detect their prey’s heartbeat.

While this ability is still being studied, there is no doubt that electroreception gives sharks a significant advantage in the underwater world.

Sharks hearing system

Sharks have an advanced hearing system that allows them to detect the faintest of sounds. Their inner ears are susceptible to vibrations and can hear prey from great distances.

Additionally, their bodies are filled with a jelly-like substance that helps to amplify sound waves. This combination of features allows expert shark hunters to track down their prey even in the ocean’s darkest depths.

While this hearing system is an advantage for sharks, it also makes them particularly vulnerable to loud noises.

For example, many sharks will avoid areas with a lot of human activity, as the noise can disrupt their hunting abilities.

In addition, scientists believe that loud noises may be one of the contributing factors to mass beachings.

How many ears do sharks have?

How many ears do sharks have?

While sharks do not have external ears like humans, they have particular organs that allow them to sense sound waves in the water.

These organs, known as spiracles, are located just behind the eyes and open directly into the shark’s inner ear canal.

This unique arrangement allows sharks to hear sounds from great distances and accurately locate prey. In addition, the spiracles also help sharks to maintain their balance and to orient themselves in dark or murky waters. 

How far away can sharks hear sounds from?

Sound travels through the water much differently than it does through air. While sound waves can travel long distances through the atmosphere, they are quickly absorbed by water.

As a result, most sounds are significantly attenuated within a few feet of their source.

However, some animals have adapted to exploit the unique properties of sound in water.

Whales, for example, use vocalizations to communicate over vast distances.

Similarly, certain sharks are known to use low-frequency sounds to locate prey. But just how far away can these predators hear a potential meal?

Scientists believe that sharks can detect sounds from up 800 feet away. However, the actual range depends on several factors, including the type of shark, the sound frequency, and the background noise level.

For example, tiger sharks are known to have incredibly acute hearing and may be able to detect sounds from even greater distances.

In contrast, smaller sharks are more likely to be limited by ambient environmental noise.

Nevertheless, sharks have an impressive ability to locate sounds underwater, which helps them to find food and avoid danger.


Do great white sharks have ears?

Sharks have ear bones but are not external like human ears. These bones are connected to the jaw and help transmit sound waves to the inner ear.

This inner ear is empathetic and helps the shark to detect vibrations in the water.

This ability to sense vibrations is one of the reasons why great white sharks are such successful predators. While they may not have external ears, their inner ear is finely tuned to help them hunt their prey.

Can sharks hear out of the water?

The answer, it turns out, is yes. Sharks have a row of tiny pores along with their head, known as the lateral line.

These pores are sensitive to vibrations in the water, and they help sharks home in on their prey.

However, the lateral line is also connected to the inner ear, meaning sharks can pick up low-frequency sounds even when out of the water. In fact, studies have shown that baby sharks often follow the sound of their mother’s voice.