March 28, 2012

Scientists study fish farts with robot fish-fart detector!

Oh man, Science magazine is great. From it, I learned that scientists are studying fish farts. Second, they use a robot fish to do it!
Researchers recorded barely-audible, cricket-like noises they think could be nighttime fish farts. The team programmed a torpedo-shaped robot called a glider to head out to sea…By comparing the grunts and whistles on their recordings to known fish calls, researchers found red grouper and toadfishes were the most frequent fish sounds recorded.... The probable farts were…most likely a group of fish releasing gas from an internal buoyancy organ called a swim bladder. By mapping these sounds, the researchers hope to get a better picture of species distributions and likely spawning areas…
Is it any surprise that one of the loudest farters was the toadfish?

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