Sea robot eavesdrops on fish

Summary:Scientists at the Center of Ocean Technology programmed a robot fish to detect and map fish sounds along the West Florida Shelf.

Scientists are using technology with a little trickery to better understand the lives of fish.

Researchers at the Center of Ocean Technology programmed a torpedo-shaped glider to detect and map fish sounds along the West Florida Shelf. As the glider blends in with the ocean dwellers, it samples ocean sounds every five minutes.

Science reports:

"The glider also recorded location data and measured seawater temperature, salinity, and depth over the course of 1 week. By comparing the grunts and whistles on their recordings to known fish calls, University of South Florida researchers found red grouper (Epinephelus morio) and toadfishes (Opsanus spp.) were the most frequent fish sounds recorded, the team reports this month in Marine Ecology Progess Series."

By tracking our underwater neighbors, researchers hope to better understand species distribution and likely breeding areas, which will help guide conservation efforts.

ScienceShot: Robot Records Fish Farts   [Science]

Photo va flickr/Tim Pearce

This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Contributing Editor Amy Kraft is a freelance writer based in New York. She has written for New Scientist and DNAinfo and has produced podcasts for Scientific American's 60-Second-Science. She holds degrees from CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Follow her on Twitter. Full Bio

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