Do Sharks Swim In Packs? (Answer Explained)

Sharks are predators and usually swim alone. They use their unique seven senses to hunt while also camouflaging in the water.

Using the element of surprise, they rarely need a pack to hunt and live with.

Some sharks swim in packs, but only a select few species. Unless sharks are trying to take down a large animal, like a dolphin, humpback whale, or orca whale, they hunt on their own.

Table of Contents

Do Sharks Stay With Their Mating Partners?

Since most sharks hunt and live alone, it is not surprising that they also do not mate with one partner for life. Sharks do not stay with their mating partners after reproduction is done. 

Male sharks bite their female partner to get into the right position. This intense mating ritual can be painful and leave scars, prompting the female shark to avoid the male shark once it is complete.

Female sharks that give birth also do not raise their young. Instead, baby and juvenile sharks are born with hunting instincts and knowing how to swim. Mother sharks instead, will bring their young to a nursery with other young sharks.

Shark Species Exceptions

There are always exceptions to the rules. While most shark species out of the over 400 that exist hunt alone, some form packs even if just for a short while. The most common sharks that live in packs are the Blacktip reef, Gray, Sevengill, and Great White sharks.

Blacktip Reef Sharks

While Blacktip Reef sharks hunt in packs, it does not mean they are friendly to each other. Blacktip Reef sharks are aggressive and easy to spot because of the black tips on their fins.

They grow up to 5.2 feet and are considered a small to medium shark species. At night, experts have documented hundreds of Blacktip Reef sharks swimming together and hunting their prey.

However, once a Blacktip Reef shark kills their prey, they do not share and instead devours the kill.

Gray Reef Sharks

Gray reef sharks are interesting because they hunt with different species of reef sharks including the blacktip and whitetip shark species. 

They are small to medium-sized sharks that grow up to 8 feet long, but usually, stop growing between 4-5 feet.

These interesting sharks hunt in various locations. As their name suggests, they are common in coral reefs, but also hunt in deep waters and come up to the surface when inspecting potential food.

Gray reef sharks do not have a strong emotional bond with each other, but they do hunt together in large packs at night. It gives them a higher chance of finding suitable prey.

Sevengill Sharks

Sevengill sharks have a unique look. They have long, blunt, and rounded heads. These sharks grow until they reach about 10 feet long.

Unlike other shark species that have six gills, Sevengill sharks have seven gills on each side of their head. They are also not picky eaters and will hunt for bony fish, smaller sharks, squid, and their favorite; seals.

Seals are not the easiest to catch because they can swim in the water, but also walk on land, unlike sharks. However, Sevengill sharks have figured out how to hunt for seals by attacking them in packs.

They hunt by sneaking up behind the sharks and attacking at quick speeds. When sharks swim to deeper waters, though, they are usually alone.

Great White Sharks

While Great White sharks can travel throughout the ocean, they choose to find a preferred hunting ground that is rich in prey. 

Most Great White sharks live alone and prefer being alone until they travel to breed and reproduce. Great White sharks travel miles into deep water to reproduce every 2-3 years.

They do not hunt in packs, though, but in pairs. Some Great White sharks will pair with other large sharks to take down massive mammals like Orca whales, dolphins, and seals.

Great White sharks may also be social animals. According to recent research, Great White sharks will stop near each other and swim together for a few minutes up to an hour!

To Conclude

In conclusion, sharks rarely travel in large packs. However, some species like the Blacktip reef, Gray, Sevengill, and Great White occasionally hunt together at night.

Not all shark species participate in mutual hunting, like the Hammerhead shark which prefers hunting alone.

Leave a Comment