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See detailSound production mechanism in Gobius paganellus (Gobiidae)
Parmentier, Eric ULg; Kever, Loïc ULg; Boyle, Kelly ULg et al

in Journal of Experimental Biology (2013), 216

Gobiidae, the largest fish family (>1500 species), has species from at least 10 genera that produce sounds for communication. Studies focused on goby sound production mechanisms have suggested that sounds ... [more ▼]

Gobiidae, the largest fish family (>1500 species), has species from at least 10 genera that produce sounds for communication. Studies focused on goby sound production mechanisms have suggested that sounds are produced by the forcible ejection of water through small apertures in the opercles (hydrodynamic mechanism). The present study was a multidisciplinary investigation (morphology, muscle histology, high-speed video, sound analysis and electromyography) of the sound emission mechanism in Gobius paganellus, which produces both pulsed and tonal calls. Two populations were used, from Brittany and Venice. In the French population, sounds were accompanied by a suite of coordinated movements of the buccal, branchial and opercular regions. This was not the case in the Venetian population, and thus the direct role of head movements in sound production was rejected. The hydrodynamic mechanism hypothesis was also rejected in G. paganellus on the basis of sound oscillogram shape and because sounds are still produced after the opercles and hyohyoid muscles are cut. The use of both electromyography and electron microscopy showed that the levator pectoralis muscle, which originates on the skull and inserts on the dorsal tip of the cleithrum, is involved in sound production. We propose that the contraction of this muscle and associated vibration of the large radials is used to make sounds. In addition, we propose that different sound types (pulsed sounds and tonal calls) could occur because of differences in fish size. [less ▲]

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