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Do Animals Have A Sixth Sense?

Written by AZ Animals Staff
Updated: February 24, 2021
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It is commonly known that animals have five main senses, touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing with the possible inclusion of balance. But is there really such a thing as having a sixth sense?

Most species of shark have sensors on the sides of their heads, which the sharks use to detect tiny muscle movements from creatures nearby. This “sixth sense” is known as electroreception and allows sharks to detect electromagnetic fields produced all animals.

Shark swimming underwater with lots of smaller fish
Sharks have long been thought to have a sixth sense.

Jennifer Mellon Photos/

For centuries now, it has also been questioned as to whether certain species of animal including rats, chickens, and snakes have the ability to detect earthquakes! These animals have to been known to leave earthquake zones up to days before the earthquake arrives, with this behavior also being displayed more recently during the devastating tsunami in southeast Asia in 2004 where there were very few wild animals harmed.

If you would like to read more about the studies into the sixth sense of animals please see:

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About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.