Scientists have discovered a species of Mexican fish that can deafen other sea animals with their loud mating call.
Gulf Corvina, according to researchers, is a species of fish that utters a mating call which resembles a "really loud machine gun going off below the waterline." They even described them as the "loudest fish ever recorded."
Every year between February and June, hundreds and thousands of fish get together to spawn in Mexico's Colorado River Delta. When they get together, "the collective chorus sounds like a crowd cheering at a stadium or perhaps a really loud beehive," study co-author Timothy Rowell from the University of San Diego said.
"The sound levels generated by chorusing is loud enough to cause at least temporary if not a permanent hearing loss in marine mammals that were observed preying on the fish. These spawning events are among the loudest wildlife events found on planet Earth," Rowell said.
According to the researcher, the frequencies produced are so powerful that it can damage the hearing or deafen the seals, sea lions and dolphins.
In 2014, authors of the study – Rowell and Brad E. Erisman from the University of Texas – spent four days eavesdropping on spawning Gulf Corvina using underwater microphones.
When the fish gather in the Colorado River Delta, the male fish sings and that sound can be heard above water and make other marine animals go deaf, but for female fish that sound is like George Michael singing.
However, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has declared the fish as "vulnerable to extinction" because of overfishing.
"A precautionary approach should be adopted by fisheries managers to ensure that this wildlife spectacle does not disappear," Rowell said.