when fish yell back

by Emily Anthes via Erin Block‘s fantabulous Tippets section at MiddCurrent

fascinating piece on the study of how fish are adjusting to increasing sound pollution levels around the world. basically, just as we do when in a noisy environment, we start to raise our voices. the more ambient noise, the louder we speak until we get to the point of yelling. this is the Lombard Effect.

” We may think of them as silent, but fish make many sounds that are rarely appreciated by the human ear. Clownfish chirp and pop by gnashing their teeth together. Oyster toadfish hum and blare like foghorns by quickly contracting muscles attached to their swim bladders. Croaking gourami make their signature noise by snapping the tendons of their pectoral fins.

Anthes-Shouting-Fish-1200
Altogether, more than eight hundred fish species are known to hoot, moan, grunt, groan, thump, bark, or otherwise vocalize. Carol Johnston, an ecologist at Auburn University, is partial to the sounds made by lollipop darters, small fish native to Alabama and Tennessee. “They sound like whales,” she told me. “

and that’s just a scratch of this subject’s surface. after reading a bit we’ll soon realise that this isn’t so fishy-churpy-cheery because its yet another reminder of how we negatively impact the world we live in.
however, many many thanks to Emily for making us aware of this, i’m sure i’m far from the only person to not have considered underwater sound pollution and how it affects its creatures.

 

click the image for the complete article including actual sound recordings of several yelling fish. enjoy !  but quietly…

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