Fish Sing Like Birds, Too! Scientists Record Soloist Fish Singing in Chorus

Mar 06, 2017 05:23 AM EST

Who said birds are the only animals that can sing? Music has been an integral part of man's life, not because of its ability to convey emotions in an artistic manner, but it is survival in nature. Babies cry for instance to convey messages, and even animals make music to communicate with each other.

For now, the only underwater animal we know to "sing" are whales and dolphins, but scientists have discovered that there are actually fish that "sing."

These fish choir are the soloist fish, which has its own unique call. However, Robert McCauley and his colleagues from the Curtin University in Australia realized that soloist fish that sing in groups form a "choir," quite literally.

McCauley and his team recorded these fish near Western Australia for more than a year and identified that they are actually producing "different" choruses, like an album, at different points in time.

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McCauley has been on these "sounds" for nearly 30 years, and has been observing sounds produced by other fish too, New Scientist reports. The songs are primarily comprised of various pops, squawks and burbles. They appear to have their respective functions but he has still not created any suitable conclusion just how each specific songs function.

McCauley did however explain that these sounds are integral to the way these fishes communicate with one another. For instance, according to his study published in the journal Bioacoustics, fishes actually sing for the purpose of various biological functions such as feeding and reproduction. However, other fishes use their sounds to protect their territories from predators, while predators use sounds to overwhelm their prey.

Steve Simpson, a marine biologist, told New Scientist that these recordings will help substantiate just how specific these noises are. Their new experiment will comprise of "sea-noise loggers" to be positioned near Port Headland. One will be near the shore and the other will be located in the water themselves.

They said if they are able to listen to choruses over an extended period of time, they will be able to monitor how fish work and how their ecosystems function.

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