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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do fish fart?

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070426/SPORTS10/704260363/1058

04/26/07 Ask Eric: Nick Dwyer, 10, Redford

Nick, your call posed the neatest question I've ever been asked in more than 40 years as a reporter!

And the answer is that while some fish do produce bubbles and sounds from their behinds, it depends on how you define flatulence.

When I was your age and went fishing with adults, I occasionally would see small streams of bubbles breaking the surface. When I asked the grownups what caused it, they invariably replied, "Fish farts."

Suspicious of their veracity, I have to admit that on occasion, when they weren't looking, I would get my nose down low over the water in an effort to confirm their claim, always without success.

However, my research showed that this question has intrigued scientists at the University of Maryland, University of British Columbia and other august institutions of learning.

Alas, the savants are split on the answer because the bubbles that a few fish species expel from their nether regions aren't the product of digestion or originate in the fishes' gut, as in mammals.

Herring in schools release bubbles from a special duct just inside the anus, making a squeak or buzz, and they may use the sound to confuse predators or communicate in the dark. Some commercial fishing boat skippers say that a massive burst of bubbles on the surface means that the school of herring they are trying to surround with a net has decided to go deep.

The sand tiger shark gulps air at the surface through its mouth to maintain buoyancy, then expels it through its rear when it wants to go deep. Once again, the gas isn't the product of digestion, but I like to think that perhaps this shark is evolving toward being the first jet-propelled species of its type.

In my 50 years as a scuba diver, I've often seen coral-eating parrotfish poop a cloud of sand into the water when they flee as something startles them (parrotfish digestions account for much of the white sand around coral reefs). But I've never seen the sand accompanied by bubbles.
 

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Come on Reef what is the answer!!!

You are the resident fisshhhyyy biolgist.

OH that is right you specialized in blood sucking eeelllllsss
 

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This is like asking that question, if a tree falls in a forest and nobody is around does it make noise?

I am guessing that yes fish do fart, all animals and living things do at some point in life.

Yes a tree does make noise if it falls. That goes with newtons third law for ever action you have an equal reaction. The reaction of a tree falling is noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There is a little humor here, but for the 10-year-old it was a serious question. Eric attempted to answer the question and did quite well.
 

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...a fish fart.
 
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