The electric great white shark

The Great white shark is one of the world’s largest predator and one of the ways that makes the great white shark to be effective hunters are their electromagnetic sensors located throughout the body.

In addition to their sight and smell, Great whites, like all other sharks, have an extra sense given by the Ampullae of Lorenzini, which enables them to detect the electromagnetic field emitted by the movement of living animals. Every time a living creature moves it generates an electrical field and great whites are so sensitive they can detect half a billionth of a volt. This is equivalent to detecting a flashlight battery from 1,600 kilometres (1,000 miles) away. Thus, while a great white’s sense of sight is useful, the shark does not depend on it. A shark primarily uses its extra senses (i.e, electrosense and mechanosense) to locate prey from far off. Then, the shark uses smell and hearing to further verify that its target is food. At close range, the shark utilizes sight for the attack.

More on the Ampullae of Lorenzini soon…..


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