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All About Sharks

Eyes on Science

Fin-tastic Activities

Discover Shark Senses

Sharks live all over the ocean, from sunny coral reefs in Hawaii to the cold waters off the coast of Greenland. How are sharks able to survive in so many different ecosystems? They have some amazing abilities to help them! In addition to the basic 5 senses (taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing), sharks have a sixth sense: special sensors on their body allow them to sense electricity. These sensors are called the ampullae of Lorenzini. These tiny, gel-filled organs look like pits or freckles on the snout and head of the shark.
The ability to sense electric fields is called electroreception. It is so sensitive that they can sense the small amounts of electricity produced when an animal moves, which helps them find fish to eat even if they’re hidden or hard to see. This special sense is usually found in aquatic animals (animals that live in water) because water conducts electricity better than air.

More Ways to Explore*

Find out what makes a shark a shark with this article from BBC and then check out their Shark Fact Files. Afterward, put your shark knowledge to the test in this quiz from National Geographic!

*External links are provided for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement by LLPA nor is LLPA responsible for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external site.

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