Sing Like Fish

Amorina Kingdon

Sing Like Fish
Scribe Publications
4 June 2024

Sing Like Fish

Amorina Kingdon

A captivating exploration of how underwater animals tap into sound to survive, and a clarion call for humans to address the ways we invade these critical soundscapes — from an award-winning science writer.

For centuries humans ignored sound in the ‘silent world’ of the ocean, assuming that what we couldn’t perceive, didn’t exist. But we couldn’t have been more wrong. Marine scientists now have the technology to record and study the complex interplay of the myriad sounds in the sea. Finally, we can trace how sounds travel with the currents, bounce from the seafloor and surface, bend with temperature, and even saltiness; how sounds help marine life survive; and how human noise can transform entire marine ecosystems.

In Sing Like Fish, award-winning science journalist Amorina Kingdon synthesises historical discoveries with the latest research in a clear and compelling portrait of this sonic undersea world. From plainfin midshipman fish, whose swim-bladder drumming is so loud it keeps houseboat-dwellers awake, to the syntax of whalesong, from the deafening crackle of snapping shrimp, to underwater earthquakes and volcanoes, sound plays a vital role in feeding, mating, parenting, navigating, and warning. Meanwhile, our seas also echo with human-made sound, and we are only just learning how these pervasive noises can mask mating calls, chase animals from their food, and even wound creatures.

Intimate and artful, Sing Like Fish tells a uniquely complete story of ocean animals’ submerged sounds, envisions a quieter future, and offers a profound new understanding of the world below the surface.

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