Talking Fish Enabled Humans to Speak

| 7/31/2008 3:39:57 PM

Tags: science, fish, evolution, humans, LiveScience,

The human ability to speak evolved from talking fish, according to new research from Cornell University. In fact, LiveScience reports that speech skills in all vertebrates, including birds, dogs, and humans, can be traced back evolutionarily to the neural circuitry found in fish.

Many fish can still talk today, including the midshipman fish, whose males will emit grunts and hums to communicate with others. A video of that is available on the LiveScience website. Male midshipman fish will hum in order to attract other mates. “Female midshipman dig it,” LiveScience reports, “and they only approach a male's nest if he makes this call.”

bennett gordon
8/15/2008 4:20:52 PM

Not to argue semantics, but I believe the fish actually are talking. They're communicating through verbal speech patterns. It might not be as complex as English, but they're still talking. I think a tabloid-style headline would be more like, "Headless Fish Implicated in Scandal with Senator." And Take Me to the River was a great song by Al Green or the Talking Heads. The version by Billy the Big Mouth Bass wasn’t quite as good.

ken adams
8/15/2008 1:22:55 PM

What a poor choice of a headline. I don't believe they are "talking" fish. They may be "communicating" fish but not talking. (and I too remember the Billy Bass. I believe the official name was "Big Mouth Billy Bass." The one I remember seeing on a commercial sang 'Take me to the River' by Al Green if I'm not mistaken.)

8/13/2008 1:37:40 PM

I remember the Big Mouth Billy Bass! Yea, I was confused when you said talking, but reading the article made more sense. I guess we'll never truly know where things originated, but that is definitely an interesting thought. :)

mac parks
8/13/2008 12:14:28 PM

What an unfortunate and misleading heading for this story. The fish don't "talk"-- they make sounds as most animals do. Talk is rather more, a fact lost in the tabloid style headline.

8/9/2008 11:02:37 PM

"Many fish can still talk today," When I read this my first thought was.... What about those talking fish that made such great fathers' day gifts a few years back......the ones you hang on the wall (was it called Billy Bass?)And they say all kinds of crazy things.