Herring Fart Chat


Science: Fish farting may not just be hot air (New Scientist):

Biologists have linked a mysterious, underwater farting sound to bubbles coming out of a herring’s anus. No fish had been known to emit sound from its anus nor to be capable of producing such a high-pitched noise.

… Three observations persuaded the researchers that the FRT is most likely produced for communication: Firstly, when more herring are in a tank, the researchers record more FRTs per fish. Secondly, the herring are only noisy after dark, indicating that the sounds might allow the fish to locate one another when they cannot be seen. Thirdly, the biologists know that herrings can hear sounds of this frequency, while most fish cannot. This would allow them to communicate by FRT without alerting predators to their presence.

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