Sharks, contrary to popular belief, are not always dangerous; rather, a few of them make great pets. However, aside from the fear factor, there is something else that bothers us all, and that is, are sharks deaf or blind.
There is nothing better than the thrill of seeing a shark in the water, but can they see us in the same way as we see them, and are they able to hear us also?
Having more than 500 species, sharks are found in all oceans, and they are crucial for the health of blue oceans. Not only do they preserve a healthy ocean ecosystem, but ensure species diversity, plus they maintain a healthy population of prey species and prevent algae overgrowth, which contributes to coral reef degradation.
Having said that, it is vital to understand the senses of sharks, and it is especially important to understand whether or not sharks are deaf or blind.
Let’s get the rumors busted and find out the truth. To start with, let’s see if sharks are blind or not.
Is a shark blind?
A major reason why sharks have been successful in dominating the ocean for years is their impressive suite of sensory systems, and that includes their eyes. Sharks are still ruling, though.
To be honest, sharks are not blind; in fact, they have pretty good eyesight. Like the human eye, the shark eye is composed of a cornea, lens, retina, iris, and pupil. Plus, Tapetum lucidum is another feature of sharks’ eyes. This is a layer that is positioned behind the retinas. This proves to be effective at helping sharks see in very dim light. We’re not going to get into biological details; however, it’s clear that sharks have good eyesight.
Having said that, sharks may have good eyesight, but they are colorblind. Color blindness is a problem for sharks. The researchers found that while sharks have eyes that function in light levels of a broad range, they only possess a single long-wavelength-sensitive cone type in the retina and may therefore be totally colorblind. Despite large sensory brain areas associated with interpreting visual information, researchers have yet to determine if sharks have color vision.
Do you know sharks have the ability to see through one eye and as well as with both eyes? It may be that sharks see the ocean better than we do.
With their heads moving back and forth while swimming, it allows them to focus better on one item at a time, and they also get a better view around themselves, with the exception of two blind spots created due to eye position. The two spots are right in front and right behind.
To put it into a brief, when pursuing their prey, even though sharks can’t discern colors or detect objects, their vision is still sufficient enough for them to accomplish death-defying feats.
Are sharks deaf?
Do you remember studying at school that sounds travel faster in water as compared to air? Well, keep this principle in mind as we move forward to see if sharks are deaf or not.
Although sharks have similar internal ear structures to humans, they are much more sensitive to sounds. In addition to their sense of sight, sharks have an acute sense of hearing that may be used to detect prey from great distances. Aside from targeting prey, sharks can even hear the sound made by other marine animals at a distance.
When it comes to hearing ability, we all have a different frequency range. For example, humans can’t hear the sound beyond 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The same is the case with sharks. A shark’s hearing appears to be best in a range of 20-300 Hz, but they are especially drawn to irregular sounds below 40 Hz.
With that said, the sharks are capable of hearing sounds with a frequency range from 10 hertz to 800 hertz.
Anyways, learn when sharks attack and stay safe. Plus, if you want to explore the types, check out here 15 most popular types of sharks around the world. In case you are in Florida, find out the places where you can find the most sharks.
Sharks use their senses as weapons as they try to locate prey items. Sharks are believed to be able to detect prey at great distances through hearing and smell but may also be able to see it directly as they get closer.
Thus, you cannot say sharks are deaf or blind. They can see, and they can hear crystal clear. However, the sharks are known to be color blind, but that doesn’t stop them from targeting their prey. But at the same time, it’s not true for all shark species.