Muscular strength helps you to have a uniform tone throughout all that time to seduce the females.
Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA UU Within the different species of the animal world, it is common for the male to have a “love song” to call the female and thus seduce her to procreate. However, few are as long as those of the midshipman fish ( Porichthys notatus, familiar to the frogfish) whose song lasts an hour.
The Guardimarina fish has two different species of male: the so-called I and II.
The I is the one that has this particular feature that generates curiosity among different biologists, zoologists and even veterinarians.
The females follow the song of the males I to reach the nests, where they lay their eggs. Then, these eggs are fertilized by both types I and type II.
This is precisely one of the research lines of Lawrence Rome, a scientist at the Whitman Center in the United States, who arrives every summer at the Marine Biology Laboratory in Massachusetts (MBL, for its acronym in English) to develop parallel studies.
On this occasion, Rome and his collaborators focused on something specific: how does a fish have such a long love call and not die trying? These scientists believe that the key is behind a specific muscle that develops a work at first sight exhausting, but that can solve without any problem.
The first thing the researchers did was to measure the muscular activity of this animal and they detected that super muscle that contracts and expands 360,000 times in an hour, that is, about 100 times per second.
How then can this muscle rest and recharge itself? After comparing the activity of the guard fish with his cousin the toadfish, Rome and his team saw that the former release much less calcium than the latter during their “musical” activity, and that allows them to have the muscular energy to hold their song during an hour.
These findings were published last January in the Journal of General Physiology.
“I really am a muscle expert, not a behaviour expert, but studying this muscle and seeing how it works allowed me to understand something vital in the behaviour of this fish,” Rome told reporters during a Science Journalism Program at Woods Hole. , Massachusetts, of which La Nación is a part.
What good is this to science? Beyond a curiosity that is worthy of sharing, this allows evolutionary biologists to see how species have developed skills to communicate and understand changes in the vocal cords and ears.
The next works of this scientist will focus on seeing why the swim bladder (a structure that helps improve the ability to float and swim) of fish in this family can inflate up to three times more than in other specimens.
He will also continue to study the musculature characteristics of other fish.
“There are still no answers because it’s just something we started to see, but I’m very excited to study it,” he concluded.