Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Little Singing Fish: Big Darwinian Surprise?

Pomacentrus amboinensis is a singing fish. Image courtesy of Monica Gagliano, PLOS ONE 8 (2): e55938, Creative Commons (CC BY 2.5).

Joel Kontinen

According to the Darwinian story, fish should certainly not behave like birds, as they parted ways aeons ago.

However, in the real world animals don’t always follow Darwinian expectations. Just think of the pig-footed bandicoot (Chaeropus ecaudatus), the duck-billed platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) and the spiny anteater (Tachyglossus aculeatus).

They have mosaic features that make evolutionary classifications practically impossible.

Then there are two tiny dragons. One lives in the sea and the other likes to glide from trees.

And a little lemur also does the gliding trick.

We shouldn’t forget walking fish that are definitely not transitional forms.

But what about singing fish? In 2016, the journal Bioacoustics published a paper on several fish species in Australian waters that did exactly that.

It’s not as pleasant to our ears as most birdsong, though.

It would not be easy for Darwinists to invoke convergent evolution this time.

What it emphasizes is that nature is much more varied than Charles Darwin dared to believe.


Keenan, Greta. 2016. Fish recorded singing dawn chorus on reefs just like birds. New Scientist (21 September).