Do Fish Fart?

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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I ran across this question by chance and found that it seems to have created quite a bit of controversy. Here are a few links that pooped up.

While back in Australia I found an article in the paper without a author nor credit. It was big news back in November and this story spread like wildfire across the wires. I 've done some digging around and still dont know if this is all just hot air or fact. Do fish fart?

IN polite society, flatulence is considered a social faux pas. But a study has revealed that in the world of fish, farting is an important social tool.
Canadian and UK researchers have discovered that herring create underwater fart noises, suggesting they communicate by breaking wind.
http://www.riverandreef.com/artman/publish/article_20.shtml [Broken]

...Over the course of two months, I observed herring behaviour in my seawater lab aquaria and experimentally narrowed down dosages to an optimum range. As the narcotic effect occurred, the herring relaxed, began to lose their upright orientation, and gas bubbles were released from what appeared to be the anus! I immediately thought: “I’m observing a phenomenon never previously reported in the ichthyological literature: herring farts!”

I then dissected some herring specimens and discovered that, in addition to the presence of a pneumatic duct, herring had a small posterior extension of the air bladder which opens alongside the anal opening. I searched the early herring literature and discovered that several members of the herring family, Clupeidae, also have such an opening. By location, the gas release I observed appeared to be farts but, technically, they were not. [continued]
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/001110.html


Believe it or not, whether fish suffer flatulence is an ongoing debate among ichthyologists.

True farting is a by-product of digestion, and some experts say that the digestive gases of fish are consolidated with their feces and expelled in gelatinous tubes (which fish then eat!). [continued]
http://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/scizone/question/default.asp?teaserIdEN=380

Farting fish fingered
...But, as Dr Batty explained, they analysed the bubbles released by herrings through the anus, using gas chromatography, and established that they were air gulped down by the herrings on the surface - there was no hint of flatulence. [continued]
http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/research/improbable/story/0,11109,1434885,00.html
 
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  • #2
Math Is Hard
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...But, as Dr Batty explained...
Dr. Batty? :rofl:

An apt name for someone obsessed with analyzing fish farts.
 
  • #3
Evo
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I don't know which is worse, that people wonder if fish fart, or that I'm reading about it. :redface:
 
  • #4
Math Is Hard
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By location, the gas release I observed appeared to be farts but, technically, they were not...
I've never been able to make that "technically, it was not a fart" excuse work. It's easier to blame it on the nearest dog.
 
  • #5
Ivan Seeking
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Canadian and UK researchers have discovered that herring create underwater fart noises, suggesting they communicate by breaking wind.
I sent this to a customer and suggested that we could communicate in code this way.
 
  • #6
Kerrie
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:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

instead of morse code, it could be fish fart code
 
  • #7
Moonbear
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Evo said:
I don't know which is worse, that people wonder if fish fart, or that I'm reading about it. :redface:
I don't know, but as soon as I saw the thread title, I couldn't resist reading it. :rofl:

MIH, the dog excuse only works on land, but now, when out swimming, the bubbles can be blamed on the nearest fish! :rofl:
 
  • #8
arildno
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Is fish farting an environmental hazard?
Can they use farts as a defense mechanism as well?
What are social faux pas among fishes if farting is not?

Will fish in a closed container eventually choke on their own farts?
Is that why we must change the water in the gold fish bowl regularly?

Ponder, ponder..
 
  • #9
jtbell
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I think I remember reading one of the original reports about this phenomenon, perhaps in Science magazine. The authors described the sound as a sort of ticking, and dubbed it something like "Fast Repeated Ticks". :smile:
 
  • #10
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Moonbear said:
MIH, the dog excuse only works on land, but now, when out swimming, the bubbles can be blamed on the nearest fish! :rofl:
This is turning into a Danger cartoon. A guy is out in the ocean floating about in an innertube and we see bubbles coming up from his swim trunks. Two fish see this and one says to the other "what the heck is he saying?" :biggrin:
 

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