The Loudest Fish!

Scientists at the Charité University in Berlin have discovered that a tiny, transparent fish, called the Danionella cerebrum, makes a sound as loud as a pneumatic drill.

A picture of a small fish that make the loudest sound on record

The team started to investigate after hearing mysterious clicking noises coming from the fish tanks in their lab.

The Danionella cerebrum drums out a rhythm on an organ called a swim bladder. Close to the fish, this manifests at 140 decibels – as loud as a gunshot. The fish is only 12mm long, and is thought to be the loudest fish for its size yet found.

What’s the drumming for?

The pistol shrimp can create very loud noises as it hunts – up to around 200 decibels, but the scientists think in this case, the noise is for social communication.

Only the males make this sound, and they only do it in company. Some are louder than others. The research team have found that, when there are around eight males together in a large tank, three will dominate the sound production and the other ones will be quiet. So there may be a hierarchy in action.

The Danionella cerebrum evolved in murky waters in Myanmar and the team think developing the ability to make a loud noise enabled them to communicate.

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