Do Sharks Growl? [No, Here’s What They Do Instead!]

Like all animals, sharks have unique ways to communicate with each other.

Movies portray angry and lark sharks as vocal creatures that growl or roar when they are angry.

Sharks do not growl. They rarely make noises with their bodies. These large fish do not have the organs to produce noise. Only one known shark species makes a deep growl or roaring sound, the Whale shark. However, this has only been recorded one time in the wild.

Do Sharks Make Noise When They Attack?

In the wild, sharks need to hunt as quickly and as quietly as possible. Sharks do not have a lot of predators, but there is a lot of space in the Ocean where a shark’s prey can swim through. 

Sharks do not make noise when they attack so their prey does not get a heads up when the shark is near. The only noise an animal may hear is the rushing water when they jump out or thrash around.

Whale sharks make sounds, but it is not when they attack or feed. Instead, they release a low and deep whispery sound as they swim. To researchers, it sounds like dogs barking.

How Do Sharks Communicate?

Did you know sharks can communicate with each other? Unlike humans, sharks use their sense of smell and body language to communicate. They do not have an organ capable of producing noise.

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These large fish are solitary animals and stay away from other sharks. However, it is impossible not to run into at least one other shark when feeding.

Great White sharks avoid fighting by communicating with each other through body commands like shaking or nodding their heads, opening their jaws, and arching their bodies forward and back.

Sharks have at least seven senses that they use to communicate. They use their electroreception to communicate with each other.

How Sharks Recognize Each Other

Sharks are loners by nature, but they recognize other sharks quickly. Using their multiple senses, including their excellent sense of smell, sharks recognize possible mates during mating season.

About 66% of a shark’s brain is dedicated to their sense of smell, which they use to hunt. Sharks can recognize vulnerable and hurt fish and small sharks, which they hunt and eat.

Noises Sharks Dislike

There are not a lot of things that scare a shark. However, there are noises they dislike hearing and will run from. Instead of communicating, they flee as part of their flight or fight response.

The main sound sharks hate is scuba diving gear. The loud sounds of the bubbles in the water cause sharks to swim far away. Playing loud music does not affect them.

Researchers have found that sharks also do not like the sound of Orca whales. These large killer whales are the only predator known to hunt and kill Great White sharks in clever pods.

Shark sound repellents use Orca whale sounds to drive away sharks. Many surfers use these devices by wrapping them around their ankles.

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In Conclusion

To conclude, sharks do not growl. Instead, they use their bodies to communicate with other sharks. Whale sharks have been recorded to growl or ‘bark like a dog’ in the water.

James Ball

James has had a lifelong passion for animals and nature, tracing back to his childhood where he first began fostering intimate knowledge and connection with pet frogs and snakes. He has since honed this interest into a career as a trained Wildlife Biologist, specializing in Biogeography, sustainability and conservation. In addition to his professional pursuits, James maintains an active lifestyle, regularly indulging in outdoor activities such as hiking, and musical pursuits like playing piano and swimming.

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