Notice! Care2 will go offline for site maintenance July 28 at 9pm PST. Thanks
START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
2,486,545 people care about Environment & Wildlife

Why Some Fish Fart

Why Some Fish Fart

Fish (some types of herring, to be specific) fart. Furthermore, the herring use flatulence to communicate, to alert other fish and form “protective shoals” at night.

Yes, one species’ anti-social behavior is quite the opposite for another.

Marine biologists have found that some types of herring, using air gulped from the surface and stored in their swim bladders, create high-frenquency sound bursts (up to 22 kilohertz) by expelling air through their anuses. From video, Robert Batty, senior research scientist at the Scottish Association for Marine Science in Oban, says that he and other scientists could actually see bubbles emanating from the fishes’ anal ducts. The sound produced was “very much like someone blowing a high-pitched raspberry” (go here to hear it). The noises seem to have the purpose of communication because the fish fart in darkness and when there is high fish density — that is, at times when they have a need for alerting each other.

While other marine fish do use sounds (some cod make their swim bladder vibrate to produce a kind of drumming sound), so far it’s only some herring species that seem to use the art of the fart to communicate. Ben Wilson, a marine biologist at the Bamfield Marine Science Centre, British Columbia, Canada, and his colleagues have given the phenomenon its own special name, Fast Repetitive Tick — or FRT, to use the acronym.

Even more, scientists have been airing concerns about the possible impact of noise pollution on the herrings’ form of communication. Engine noise from ships or seismic guns used for oil surveys could interfere not only with the herring’s hearing, but also with that of those who feed on them, dolphins and whales. These animals rely on hearing farts — that is, FRTs — to find their food.

Some fishy things mean more than words can say.

 

Related Care2 Coverage

All Target Seafood Will Be Sustainable And Traceable By 2015

The Most Important Fish in America is in Jeopardy

Fish Uses Tool

 

Read more: , , , , , , , ,

Photo by derekkeats

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

152 comments

+ add your own
10:40AM PST on Dec 9, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

3:44AM PST on Nov 28, 2011

LOL! IMMD!

9:49AM PST on Nov 16, 2011

That was... interesting.

6:54PM PST on Nov 14, 2011

hey I have been doing the same for years but no one has ever understood me!

7:15AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

thanks for sharing :)

1:23PM PDT on Nov 1, 2011

I feel so much better for knowing this lol

3:12PM PDT on Oct 29, 2011

this is amazing!! farting by communicating.

1:42AM PDT on Oct 28, 2011

I sent this to my 11 year old son's email... He'll love it.

7:14PM PDT on Oct 26, 2011

Farting fish...you learn something new every day. I guess my koi like farting so they can have a bubble bath!

5:04PM PDT on Oct 26, 2011

Cool! Haha.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

BOTH Atheists {and Agnostics and Freethinkers and Skeptics}, AND LGBT people DIRECTLY CHALLENGE AND…

Zoos have to have funding I get that. They do NOT have to allow drugs or alcohol, and they should have…

Which one of the meat producers commissioned this study?

meet our writers

Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK

Children

Civil Rights

Education

Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights

Politics

Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.