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Can Sharks Make Sounds?

Thresher shark in profile, showing extremely long tail.
Thresher shark in profile, showing extremely long tail. By bearacreative via DepositPhotos

Have you ever heard sharks make sounds? I have not and I dive quite a bit.

So I was wondering, are they make any sounds at all or just too shy to strike a conversation with a diver?

The Mystery Unveiled

Dusky Shark
Dusky Shark. Image by Jen Fitschen

As fantastic as it may seem, sharks lack vocal cords, the essential component for producing sounds. Unlike their noisy counterparts in the marine world—sea birds, seals, whales, dolphins, and some bony fish—sharks do not possess any specialized sound-producing organs.

The Silent Symphony

Hammerhead Shark.
A hammerhead shark in malpelo island Colombia Hammerhead Shark. By via Depositphotos

In lieu of vocal cords, sharks rely on a remarkable sensory system known as the “lateral line” to navigate the depths. This system is akin to a superpower. It extends along their bodies allowing them to detect vibrations – sounds in their surroundings.

Listening in the Deep

Dusky Shark
Dusky Shark. Image by Jen Fitschen

While sharks may not vocalize themselves, they are not devoid of auditory perception. Their ears though not as conspicuous as those of other animals serve as tools for sensing sound waves traveling through the water. Through this auditory prowess sharks remain attuned to the symphony of the ocean, a silent ballet of life and movement.

Lessons from the Depths

spotted gully shark
Spotted Gully Shark in Simons Town. Image by Jen Fitschen

Sharks teach mindfulness in the domain of silence. They exemplify the art of listening – a talent that is sometimes underappreciated in our noisy environment.  Their keen senses and silent presence say it all loudly. We can learn something from these quiet hunters, like to talk less and listen more.

In Conclusion

Dusky Shark
Dusky Shark. Image by Jen Fitschen

In the grand orchestra of the ocean, sharks may not contribute their own melodies but they are attentive listeners, attuned to the subtle vibrations of life below the surface.

While they may not make sounds themselves they speaks volumes about nature’s design. Next time you find yourself thinking of sharks, take a moment to appreciate their brilliance.

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