Monday, May 13, 2013

Repost: Swim bladders and the "Barry White of the Sea"

Here is the link to the NY Times story I mentioned in class on vocalizations made by fish using their swim bladders.  The article highlights several cases in which obnoxious noises were assumed to be anything BUT made by fish and those who suggested fish as the culprits were called crazy!  As I mentioned the swim bladder is thought to be evolutionarily homologous to the early lung and both develop as outpockets of the gut (in the early stages of development). A paper by Zheng et al., published in 2011 in PLoSONE looks at some of the evidence for the "homolog" idea, and their results "provide molecular evidence of the relatedness of the fish swimbladder and mammalian lung."

Black drum

Here also is the link to some of the cool sounds fish make, including the "Barry White of the sea", the black drum.

And one more link: this one describing research by SFSU professor Roger Bland on the vocalizations of the toadfish in SF Bay.

Toadfish
























And one more thing about swim bladders....   Some people eat them.  From Wikipedia: "In some Asian cultures, the swim bladders of certain large fishes are considered a food delicacy. In China they are known as fish maw, 花膠/鱼鳔, and are served in soups or stews. Swim bladders are also used in the food industry as a source of collagen. They can be made into a strong, water-resistant glue, or used to make isinglass for the clarification of beer.

Swim bladder display in a Melaka shopping mall"

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