If you live in the northern hemisphere, chances are you know of someone (or are yourself) heading back to school! Sharks don't go to school, per se... instead, they school. "What??" I know, I know, confusing. Let's clear that up a bit.
Sharks don't go to school but instead have a social structure called "schooling" - this is when they get into big groups and swim together! #Finfact: A school of sharks is also called a "shiver," but we rarely hear shark scientists refer to large groups like that. While some sharks do prefer to swim and hunt alone, other prefer to swim, hunt, and feed with company! This doesn't mean they rely on others to survive, however.
So why do sharks school? Not much is known about why different species school and others don't. But, here may be some reasons:
cooperating for hunting
The stereotypical picture of a shark hunting is the animal alone... but that isn't always the case! Check out the video above where these sharks work together to grab a meal - sometimes working together is better than doing it all alone!
Smaller sharks may school together in order to fool bigger predators-- similar to large schools of fish. Bigger predators can include other, larger sharks!
Not a scary sight at all -- in fact, large migrations of sharks (and rays) are normal! Many sharks can make an annual migration from point A to point B in search of warmer/colder water and even prey! Or, they might school because of...
Many sharks may go in schools to migrate to a mating ground!
did you know about sharks schooling?
TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
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