Fishes ‘talk’ inside water: Researchers confirm that we can hear their voices

Fareeha Arshad

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Until recently, most people assumed that fishes possibly communicated via colour or electrical signals to communicate with each other. However, according to a recent research published in the journal ‘Ichthyology & Herpetology’, scientists discovered that fishes ‘talk’ to communicate.

Previously, researchers were aware that fishes made certain sounds, but with the recent discovery, they further concluded that fishes, like birds, also participate in morning and evening choruses with their ‘voice’. In a recent study by Rice and the team, multiple physiological features were identified among the ray-finned fishes that confirmed that they produce noise without using their vocal cords.

According to the researchers, fishes make unique sounds like grinding their teeth or following a pattern within the water to create sounds to communicate with each other. Among the vast number of families of fishes, over two-thirds of them communicate by making sounds.

Furthermore, researchers believe that fishes started speaking more than 150 million years ago – about the same time animals on land started speaking. The authors of the study also added that their findings conclude that fishes too exhibited intense selection pressure and evolved into organisms that can vocalize their sounds.

Certain groups of fish are known to talk more than others. For instance, catfish and toadfish produce more sounds than others. Perhaps, the fishes, like most other beings on the land, communicate with others when in need – for food, when in danger, or maybe even simply to socialize with each other. Scientists were able to hear their 'voices' only recently.

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I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I write about current affairs, history, science, and lifestyle.

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