Research Highlights: Sound communication among fishes is more common that we thought


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By: MathKnight

Sound communication among fishes is more common that we thought

  • Fishes produce sound and has been recognized for many years; however, this behavior is usually regarded as comparatively rare.
  • Researchers map the most comprehensive dataset of sound produced by fishes.
  • The sound production dataset was constructed onto a family-level phylogeny of ray-finned fishes.
  • Ray-finned fishes or Actinopterygii were named because their fins are webs of skin supported by bony or horny spines.[1]
  • This clade of fishes contains more than 34,000 living species.
  • Eighty two percent of the analysis of sound production were based on illustrations of acoustic recordings and morphological specialization.
  • Eighteen percent were based along with qualitative descriptions.
  • Data reveal that fishes are more likely to communicate using sound than previously thought.
  • Sixty families are able to produce sound using muscles coupled to swim bladder vibration.
  • Swim bladder is an internal gas-filled organ which allows many fishes to control their buoyancy.
  • Thirty nine families are able to produce sound using movement of skeletal parts such stridulation.
  • Stridulation is the act of rubbing together certain body parts to produce sound such as in crickets or grasshoppers.[2]
  • Eighteen of these families which include 13 catfishes exhibit both the sound-producing mechanisms.
  • Additionally, researchers discovered that about 67 percent of the families with sound-producing species are ray-finned fishes including a clade originating about 155 million years ago, and that sound production has evolved about 33 times within the ray-finned fish clade.
  • Researchers proposed that these patterns of shared ancestry are robust based on sensitivity analyses.
  • Sensitivity analysis refers to the study of how variables of interest is affected by changes in external conditions.[3]
  • Overall, these findings highlight a novel perspective on the origin, background, and convergent evolution of sound production among ray-finned fishes.
  • The study strongly support the hypothesis that sound production among ray-finned fishes is ancient and that sound communication among fishes is more common than previously thought.

Sources:

Aaron N. Rice, Stacy C. Farina, Andrea J. Makowski, Ingrid M. Kaatz, Phillip S. Lobel, William E. Bemis, Andrew H. Bass “Evolutionary Patterns in Sound Production across Fishes,” Ichthyology & Herpetology, 110(1), 1-12, (20 January 2022). https://doi.org/10.1643/i2020172

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actinopterygii

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stridulation

[3] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ele.12350

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