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New research and website aggregates more than 150 years of data on sounds made by fish


There are roughly 34,000 species of fish on earth, and fish are the largest and most diverse group of sound-producing vertebrates, but until recently there was no comprehensive record of all the fish species known to make sounds and the types of sounds they produce.

A recently published review in the journal Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries brings together more than 150 years of data collected by researchers from all over the world. A team of researchers reviewed more than 3,000 documents and extracted data from 834 studies to determine that 989 fish species have been shown to produce active sounds.

The research team includes members from University of Florida, University of Victoria, and Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil.

And all that data has been compiled on a website called FishSounds.net. This new repository acts as a global inventory of fish sounds easily accessed and added to by contributors around the world, and members of the public who are curious or have an interest in fish species.

To learn more about the project, and about how and why some fish species make sounds, we spoke with the project lead, Audrey Looby. She is a PhD candidate in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences at the University of Florida, and is co-founder of the FishSounds project.