According to a Scientific American blog posted this week, researchers are studying the plainfin midshipman fish, a relative of the toadfish that thrives along the Pacific coast at depths to 2,000 feet. Certain males of this species head to shallow water in spring and summer to build nests and attract females.
To guide the females to the nests, the males start humming. To some, the sound mimics a chorus of oboes, the blog states, but it’s kind of like a distant foghorn, or even a monotone digeridoo.
The blog goes on to relate that scientists are studying this fish and finding how its brain circuitry corresponds with that of amphibians, birds and mammals. They’re even looking at whether fish were the first animals to evolve non-vocal gestures. Related research might suggest that hormone therapies could stave off age-related hearing loss in women. All of that from a toadie!