What is a Group of Sharks Called?(and Why?)

Written by Emmanuel Kingsley
Updated: October 17, 2022
© Richard Whitcombe/Shutterstock.com
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Sharks are a type of elasmobranch fish with cartilage skeletons and fearsome teeth. They are gregarious creatures who are very intelligent and well-known in different parts of the world. Like other marine animals, sharks congregate in mating, hunting, and mobility groups. They live in groups or pairs. Though they are ferocious animals, they are also very social. Great white sharks, for example, are mostly solitary species; however, they form groups as they migrate down the coasts.

Like every other organism on the planet, sharks have a collective name; so what is a group of sharks called? To get the answers to these intriguing questions, take a leap with us to learn more about what a group of sharks is called.

What Were Sharks Originally Called?

What do tiger sharks eat - feeding a tiger shark
Sharks were originally called sea dogs.

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It may surprise you that these gigantic deep-sea creatures were originally known as sea dogs and Schurk. Sailors in the past would frequently witness these majestic sea monsters with long snouts, sharp fangs, and keen senses of smell swimming magnificently beneath the water’s surface. These unique characteristics made every shark variety comparable to human companion dogs, and so they were referred to as sea dogs.

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The other most important root name formerly known to describe sharks was Schurk, which means ‘villain’ in Dutch and was used to describe these massive sea creatures because they terrorized ocean inhabitants with their vicious behavior.

Are Sharks Social Sea Creatures?

Group of Lemon Sharks
Sharks are social creatures.

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When we say that an animal is sociable, we refer to its ability to interact and spend time with other members of the same species. When it comes to mating, practically all animals demonstrate some form of socialism. However, social behaviors can range from solitary snow leopards to extremely social ant colonies. As terrifying as they may appear, sharks are known to be social animals. The giant creature from the deep blue ocean has been the subject of many expeditions and years of research. Sharks’ social activity is shown in their propensity to develop bonds with their fellow creatures. Interestingly, they effortlessly carry out their marine lifestyle while living in groups and moving together. However, just like the great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) have a hierarchy, others, like the blue shark, have intricate social groups (Prionace glauca). 

What is a Group of Sharks Called?

Sharks in Water Header
A group of sharks is called a shiver.

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For a group of sharks, there is no one conventional name to refer to them as one. Nevertheless, shiver, frenzy, herd, gam, shoal, grind, shoal, or college are used to describe sharks collectively. But, a group of dolphins and whales are collectively called a “school” or “pod.”

What are the Four Common Terms Used in Grouping Sharks?

Below are the four most common ways to refer to a bunch of sharks:

  1. A shiver of sharks: This is the most popular way to refer to a group of sharks. Imagine you are on a dive, surrounded by too many sharks in every direction; without a deliberate reaction, your body starts to tremble with fear at the sight of these cold-blooded sea animals.
  2. A school of sharks: They are mostly referred to as sharks that live in the ocean for their unique description. And an interesting fact is that they are widely used to refer to a collection of sharks, fish, dolphins, and whales.
  3.  A herd of sharks: The term “herd of sharks” is not widely used to describe a large group of sharks. However, the basis for the collective term is traced back to its enormous size, which was comparable to that of a herd of animals such as cows or zebras. This term is also thought to be utilized due to sharks’ natural social characteristics and activity.
  4. A frenzy of sharks: A frenzy of shark is another appropriate phrase for a group of sharks. The term ‘feeding frenzy’ may ring a bell when it comes to shark feeding. A situation or time of uncontrollable excitement or crazy conduct is classified as a ‘frenzy.’ Interestingly, a shark’s feeding habit fits into the dramatic and chaotic meaning of frenzy and thus, is described as the “frenzy of sharks.”

What is a Baby Shark Called?

Intriguingly, sharks exhibit three brooding patterns: ovoviviparity, oviparity, and viviparity. A single baby shark born through any of these brooding patterns is referred to as a “pup.” However, a fascinating fact about newborn sharks is that they do not get all the motherly care when they are born. Unfortunately, before they are born, baby sharks begin to fight for survival in the embryonic stage and continue to fight when they are born. Fascinatingly, with their survival instincts, they automatically become equipped with enough innate survival mechanisms to hunt on their own as young sharks. 

Can Sharks See Well at Night?

Sharks have a well-developed eye feature that helps them see in murky waters. Interestingly, they are even able to distinguish between different colors. So, even though you can not see them when you dive at night, these sea creatures can see you.

Do Sharks Have a Strong Sense of Smell?

Yes, sharks can detect human blood or wounded prey from great distances and detect magnetic fields and temperature changes using their electroreceptor organs.

How Many Teeth Do Sharks Have?

Sharks can have 3,000 to 35,000 teeth throughout their lifetime, but on average, they have between 50 to 300 teeth, which varies depending on the species.

Can Sharks Hear?

People believe sharks can not hear because they do not have physical ears. However, sharks are thought to have a highly developed hearing sense that functions with the lateral line, which amplifies and detects vibrations. This hearing ability allows them to detect low-frequency vibrations and locate the noise source using their lateral pores. These marine creatures can detect nearby prey with their unique hearing aid despite their lack of ear lobes. The inner ear is accessed through these little pores on the sides of the head.


The Featured Image

shark swimming near ocean floor
When sharks sleep, they face the flow of the current, allowing it to rest while the moving water continues supplying oxygen.
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