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The discovery has been made that the sound produced by one of the tiniest fish in the world rivals the volume of a gunshot.
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The discovery has been made that the sound produced by one of the tiniest fish in the world rivals the volume of a gunshot.

According to scientists, a fish which is one of the smallest in the world and about the same size as an adult human’s fingernail, has the ability to produce a sound as loud as a gunshot.

According to a study published in the journal PNAS, the male Danionella cerebrum is a small fish measuring approximately 12mm that can be found in streams in Myanmar. This fish is capable of producing sounds that surpass 140 decibels, which is equivalent to the volume of an ambulance siren or jackhammer.

According to the paper, the primary way that fish make sound is through their swim bladder, which is a gas-filled organ used for controlling buoyancy. This process is caused by the rhythmic contractions of specific “drumming” muscles.

The origin of the sound produced by Danionella cerebrum, the vertebrate with the smallest known brain, has long been unknown. Previous explanations involving muscle mechanisms connected to the swim bladder did not seem plausible.

Researchers at Charité University in Berlin have made a discovery regarding the fish’s exceptional sound production system. This system involves a unique combination of a drumming cartilage, specialized ribs, and fatigue-resistant muscles. As a result, the fish is able to produce intense and rapid pulses by accelerating the drumming cartilage with high force.

The paper stated that having knowledge about this unique adaptation increases our understanding of animal movement and showcases the various ways different species move, adding to our overall understanding of evolutionary biology and biomechanics.

The group of researchers utilized high-speed video recordings to study the process of creating sound.

Sound is created by a rib, located alongside the swim bladder, that is activated by a specific muscle to strike a piece of cartilage. This action causes a drumming noise when the rib rebounds off the swim bladder. In males, the rib is more rigid, while in females it is not, resulting in their lack of sound production.

The reason behind the fish’s loud noises remains unknown to scientists, though they have theorized that it may assist in navigating murky environments or serve as a way for males to intimidate rivals.

Source: theguardian.com