Swimpressive Shark Facts: What Is A Group Of Sharks Called?

Deepthi Reddy
Dec 22, 2022 By Deepthi Reddy
Originally Published on Oct 25, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Tropical island seascape with several blacktip reef sharks underwater.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 9.5 Min

Sharks are ocean dwellers from old times, tracing their origin to 400 odd million years with fossil evidence.

The sharks tend to be more social in behavior and prefer to live in the benthic zone of the oceans. These giant fish from the ocean are used to covering almost 43- 50 mi (69-80.4 km) in their daily expeditions across the ocean.

Let us try to understand how the word shark came into existence. It is sure to intrigue you that these massive creatures from the deep oceans were once often referred to as sea dogs. Well, the sailors in old times often used to spot these magnanimous sea creatures with long snouts, sharp teeth, and a great sense of smell swimming impressively under the water surface. These aspects made every shark type more relatable to their loyal human companions, dogs. These sea creatures are thought to get their first name in such a manner.

The other most relevant root to the word can be attributed to the dutch word schurk, meaning villain in dutch. So the word is justified as these enormous sea creatures are known to have terrorized the other ocean dwellers with their fierce nature since time immemorial. Hence, the term shark seems to be a befitting name to them.

If you liked reading this article, we are sure you will enjoy our other interesting works on how many teeth sharks have? And how fast a shark can swim?

Are sharks social?

Do you know that a group of sharks is known by different collective nouns? To name a few, a group of sharks can be addressed by many a different collective noun like a shiver of sharks, school, shoal, herd, gam, or a frenzy.

So let us try to discover if these so-called terrorizing marine beings take to be social or not? Many expeditions and years of study have brought forward fascinating information on sharks from the deep blue oceans. To answer the question above, yes, indeed, the social behavior of sharks is found in their tendency to form social associations with their fellow beings. So how do they display their social behavior? Yes, you got it right; they move in groups.

Sharks are categorized into the class Chondrichthyes in scientific classification. They are further classified into the superorder Selachimorpha and the subclass Elasmobranchii. Did you know that sharks have about 470 species? Is it not a mind-blowing number to look at? These species of sharks are classified into 12 orders, and sadly, four out of these 12 orders have gone extinct. The male and female of the species do not have any particular term to address them. They will be addressed by the term male and female shark, respectively.

The largest shark species is the whale shark that can grow to a maximum size of 60 ft (18.3 m) and weighs a massive 41888 lb (19000 kg). The smallest known shark species is the Dwarf lantern shark, which measures 7.9 in (20 cm) and weighs about 2 lb (.9 kg). Dwarf lantern sharks fit into an adult hand.

Do you know that sharks have thousands of teeth? The teeth can number between 3000-35,000 teeth during the lifetime of sharks. Also, the count of teeth may vary based on the species of the shark. Every shark is blessed with a great night vision and a strong sense of smell. Sharks can see in colors too. They are very receptive to the temperature changes in their surroundings and magnetic field too. Read on to learn more facts related to our marine animals here.

Why is it called a shiver of sharks?

We will now uncover how this collective noun, a shiver of sharks, made its way into our vocabulary. What does the collective noun a shiver of sharks mean?

Well, won't you get a shiver when you see a group of sharks together? That is precisely how this interesting collective noun came into being. Another reason could be because sharks are cold-blooded animals; the collective noun, shiver, becomes indicative of their body type. The collective name for a group of sharks is the school of sharks because sharks are fishes, and a group of fish is called a school of fishes.

So we all are not unfamiliar with the baby shark song, aren't we? Every kid will make his or her parents run around for the song. The mere mention of the name, baby shark, will trigger the tune of 'Baby Shark' do-do-do in the back of our minds. So what are these cute baby sharks called? Baby sharks are called as pups. The group of baby sharks is called as a shark nursery. These little sharks are independent at birth, as parental affiliation in this wild species is minimal. They are born with their survival instincts. The shark nurseries or groups of pups can be easily located near coastlines, seamounts, or estuaries. They run around in shallow and warm water that keeps them happy and thriving in their abode.

The fear of sharks is not uncommon to be heard of. Some sharks like the blue shark, tiger shark, hammerhead sharks are apex predators in the marine ecosystem. Apex predators would mean that these animals are placed on the top of the food chain. The shark population is seeing a steady decline across its habitats due to overfishing. It is worrying that one-third of the sharks' population is placed under the Threatened with Extinction category in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Although it is known that these sharks are prey to the bycatches in the fisheries, there is also a considerable demand for sharkfin or even shark meat in various parts of the world. This is making the deadly apex predators of the oceans, the fierce animals, vulnerable at the hands of humans. Corrective measures ensure that the sharks' population is well conserved to maintain their position in the marine ecosystem.

How many sharks make a shiver?

We have now understood what a school or shiver of sharks denotes. Do you want to know how many sharks make a shiver or a school? Let us explore more what these collective nouns suggest.

Sharks may be a complex subject to study as they delve into deep corners of the ocean difficult to be accessed by humans. They do not tend to live in one place most of the time. A school, gam, or shiver of shark may be as small as a group of four to five members to as large as more than hundreds in the group. Sharks congregate for hunting, mating, or migration. Did you know that some shark species follow a social hierarchy in the group and they will align based on the size of its members? They are nocturnal beings preferring to hunt in dark hours.

So, where can we see our shark buddies? Sharks inhabit oceans across the globe. They can be found in the deepest parts of the ocean as low as 10,000 ft (3,048 mdeep to shallow offshore waters. They come to shallow waters for mating and breeding. Also, sharks can migrate long distances as far as 2500 mi (4023 km) away in search of food. But the record for the longest migration undertaken by a shark stays at 12,000 mi (19312.12 km) across the pacific by a whale shark named as Anne.

Group of shark in the sea.

What is a group of hammerhead sharks called?

Amongst the many species of sharks, hammerhead sharks are quite exciting species to watch out for. We will educate ourselves with more facts related to this group of sharks.

Hammerhead sharks get their name for the unique shape of their heads that resembles a hammer. The shape of their head helps these sharks species to detect stingrays beneath the sand. We can find nine species of hammerhead species all over the world. They can measure up to 20 ft ( 6 m) and weigh as much as 1000 lb ( 454 kg). Hammerhead sharks feed on crabs, lobsters, fishes. These sharks also have 360-degree vision. But one minor glitch they have is that they cannot see in front of their nose.

We can call a group of hammerhead sharks a school. They tend to live in groups or a family of ten to twenty—their average lifespan of 20-30 years in the wild. Unfortunately, three species of hammerhead sharks have been placed as Endangered species by the IUCN Red List. Did you know that the genus name Sphyrna relating to the Great hammerhead shark means hammer in Greek? Though these sharks are infamous for being ferocious attackers, they are extensively exploited by humans.

Another similar shark species is the Great white shark, found in United States, Japan, South Africa, Chile, the Mediterranean. They can grow as much as 16 ft (4.9 m) and weigh 1700 lb ( 771 kg). Like all other sharks, Great white sharks also possess the sensory organs called the Ampullae of Lorenzini, which helps them ascertain the presence of other animals. Though solitary in nature, these sharks do tend to group now and then. They display some amazing chases and jumps and keep the onlookers charmed. So what do we call a group of Great white sharks? We can refer to them with collective nouns such as a shoal or school of sharks. Incidentally, we also call a group of Blue sharks one of the collective nouns, such as a school of Blue sharks. They are a widespread species that prefer smaller school sizes while hunting. They prefer solitude and do not like to share their meal with fellow buddies.

Do sharks attack others within the group?

To answer this question, let us get used to some more facts about the group dynamics of sharks.

The herd, frenzy, or shoal of sharks may attack an army of herrings or a smack of jellyfish quickly. There we go, we just here we also learn that just as the group of sharks is called a shoal, frenzy, gam, or herd, a group of herrings is called an army, and a group of jellyfish goes by the term smack. But these marine animals are also notorious for attacking their own kind. It is prevalent to see more giant sharks attacking their smaller species, or even within the same species, the older sharks may be seen attacking the younger ones.

Sharks living in the benthic zone are opportunistic feeders. They stay still, and when the prey approaches, they go full throttle and attack their prey. Sharks inhabiting the pelagic zone display a different approach as they have an exaggerated display of movements that seem threatening to the prey. They approach their prey slowly and hurl at them when they find it apt. You may observe that these sharks will wait for their prey to bleed to death and eat their meal only when their victim is dead.

Sharks, with their well-defined sense of hearing, sight, smell, taste, touch, and electromagnetic field, make an impressive impact on onlookers. The size and sight of a shark may create the awe factor. However, we should understand that these animal species need protection from overexploitation caused by mankind. We need to work towards living harmoniously with these magnificent marine pals.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for what a group of sharks called is? Then why not take a look at how do sharks sleep? Or Apollo Shark facts.

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Written by Deepthi Reddy

Master of Business Administration

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Deepthi ReddyMaster of Business Administration

With an MBA under her belt, Deepthi has discovered her true calling in content writing. Her writing repertoire is diverse, covering travel, movies, pet care, parenting, animals and birds, and more. Her joy of learning and creating has helped her craft well-written and engaging articles. When she isn't writing, Deepthi enjoys exploring new cultures, trying different foods, and spending quality time with her two children aged 7 and 12.

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