The tiny fish that makes a big noise

It is very small, barely reaching 12 millimeters. But it is capable of emitting sounds close to its body of more than 140 decibels. They are comparable to those of a jet engine during takeoff at a distance of 100 meters. The tiny fish that makes a big noise reminds us that size isn't everything.

The tiny fish that makes a big noise reaches 12 millimeters.
The tiny fish that makes a big noise reaches 12 millimeters.

Great sounds

It is the quality of the fish Danionella cerebrum, described in a study published in the scientific journal “PNAS”. It was observed by an international research team. They have shown that tiny, translucent fish possess a special sound-generating apparatus. Animals presumably use sounds to communicate with each other in murky waters, according to the authors.

The snapping shrimp can generate a sound of up to 250 decibels with its claws. The flightless kakapo's mating calls reach 130 decibels. Elephants can produce noises of up to 125 decibels with their trunks. “In contrast, fish are generally considered fairly calm members of the animal kingdom.” This is explained in a statement by Dr. Ralf Britz from the Senckenberg Natural History Collection in Dresden. And he continues: “However, there are certain species of fish that can be surprisingly noisy. For example, the male fish Porichthysnotatus. “He attracts his females with an audible vibrato of around 100 hertz and 130 decibels.”

How to achieve this is still being investigated.
How to achieve this is still being investigated.

airplane taking off

In their current study, Britz and an international research team led by Benjamin Judkewitz of Charité in Berlin examined the fish species Danionella cerebrum. The tiny fish that makes a big noise reaches a length of about 12 millimeters. «This tiny fish can produce sounds of more than 140 decibels at a distance of 10 to 12 millimeters. This is comparable to the noise that a human perceives from an airplane during takeoff at a distance of 100 meters. It is quite unusual for an animal of such a tiny size. We try to understand how fish achieve this. We want to know what mechanisms are responsible for this achievement,” explains the Dresden ichthyologist.

Click to rate this entry!
(Votes: 0 Average: 0)
Share!

Leave a Comment