Fish farts sound like chirping crickets!

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Scientists using a torpedo-shaped robot to record fish sounds along the coast of Florida to map their distributions have recorded unknown biological noises believed to be fish farts.

In a study published in a recent issue of the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series, Carrie Wall and co-authors were recording croaks and grunts of predominantly Red grouper (Epinephelus morio) and toadfish (Opsanus spp.) when they encountered cricket-like chirps not once but three times.

The chirps were recorded at depths of shallower than 40m (the groupers and toadfish mostly produced sounds greater than this depth), and the authors thought that they might be Herring (Opisthonema oglinum) or Menhaden (Brevoortia patronus) releasing gas from their swimbladders.

For more information, see the paper: Wall CC, C Lembke and DA Mann (2012) Shelf-scale mapping of sound production by fishes in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, using autonomous glider technology. Marine Ecology Progress Series 449, pp. 55–64.

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