Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox every week.      
The Kid Should See This

How Do Sharks and Rays Use Electricity to Find Hidden Prey?

Imagine if you had six traditional senses instead of five: Sound, sight, touch, smell, taste and… What might you pick? Echolocation? Magnetoreception? How about electroreception?

Sharks, rays, skates and sawfish, Elasmobranchii, can detect the low frequency electric signals emitted by animals around them. The elasmobranchs’ Ampullae of Lorenzini allow them to sense the world in a completely different way than most other animals, including humans.

“We have discovered that sharks have electric sense only in 1966. That’s not even 50 years ago,” [Associate Professor of Biology Stephen] Kajiura says. “That’s a whole new sense that’s been discovered. It would be like us discovering vision for the first time only 50 years ago…”

“It’s a whole new sense. A whole new way of collecting information about the environment,” he says. “And there is so little work that’s done on this entire sensory system, that I think there is so much cool stuff we can do. Things we don’t even know about yet. Things we haven’t even imagined yet, I think are wide open.”

From KQED and PBS Digital Studios, this is Deep Look: How Do Sharks and Rays Use Electricity to Find Hidden Prey?

Next: Watch more from Deep Look and all kinds of ray videos.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

The Catlin Seaview Survey: “Street View” for the Great Barrier Reef

Rion Nakaya

Festo Robot Animals: Penguins, jellyfish, rays, and more

Rion Nakaya

This giant plant looks like raw meat and smells like dead rat

Rion Nakaya

The largest school of rays ever caught on film

Rion Nakaya

Dancing baby stingrays

Rion Nakaya

Why Does Your Cat’s Tongue Feel Like Sandpaper?

Rion Nakaya

The ‘Swiss Army knife’ legs of a house centipede

Rion Nakaya

Roly Polies Came From the Sea to Conquer the Earth

Rion Nakaya

How Do Pelicans Survive Their Death-Defying Dives?

Rion Nakaya