Even fish may have accents

Written by on October 11, 2016 in Fish, Marine Life

Earlier this year, we wrote about the different kinds of animals that have accents. Some whales have individual accents while others have distinct regional dialects. Read more about that here. Now, a new study from the University of Exeter shows that fish may be included in that list!

Atlantic cod.

Atlantic cod. Photo credit: NOAA.

There are several species of vocal fish, including cod and haddock. Steve Simpson, associate professor of marine biology at Exeter, has been studying the different “voices” of cod and identified variations between those living in America and Europe.

According to Simpson, American cod make “a staccato, banging, bop bop bop sound” while European cod make more of a “deep rumbling growling.”

Simpson’s research suggests it’s possible that cod living in different areas around Britain could also have localized accents because they gather in the same spawning grounds generation after generation.

His research also focuses on the impact that man-made noise pollution is having on vocal animals.

“Fish produce a variety of sounds, sometimes using their swim bladders to make thumping and rumblings sounds, to establish territories, raise the alarm and attract mates,” he said. “In noisy places the ‘gossip’ essential to their society is being drowned out. If we value our fish stocks – or our Friday night fish supper – we need to understand this.”

To learn more:

Copyright © 2016 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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