Fish chatter with each other in order to stay together as a unit and better their chances of safety.
That was the finding by a team of researchers from the University of Auckland, which says it has found the first evidence of fish using communication calls for the purpose of maintaining cohesion of the overall group.
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The researchers studied captive wild bigeyes (Pempheris adspersa), whose "pop" calls have been shown to max out at about 100 feet in range. They played two kinds of sound recording for the fish through underwater hydrophones. The first was of the normal ambient sounds of the reef tank where the fish were kept, while the second was of previously recorded bigeye vocalizations.
When the recordings were played, the fish grew five times more communicative with their calling rates, "talking" over the background sounds to stay in touch and swimming close together. But, when no sound recordings were played, the bigeyes swam farther apart.