Oyster Toadfish: Photo by Flying Cat Studios on Flickr.
The Opsanus Tau is related to the Midshipman under the family Batrachoididae (toad-like fish) and inhabit the same type of inner tidal areas. They also breathe air out of water and given the habitat and the structure of the pectoral fins they likely have some kinship to the various fishes that made their way out of water and on to land some 200 million years ago.
Their characteristic “boat whistle” is produced by oscillating muscles around the swim bladder, which they use as a resonator. These muscles are one of the fastest vertebrate muscles.
Discovery of Sound in the Sea
Chesapeake Bay Program
Discovery Channel Canada: The One That Didn’t Get Away – The fish video is the 4th video on the page.
Rhode Island Restoration Portal
Amorim, M.C.P., McCracken, M.L. and Fine, M.L. 2002. Metabolic costs of sound production in the oyster toadfish, Opsanus tau. Canadian Journal of Zoology 80:830-838.Fish, M.P. and Mowbray, H.M. 1970. Sounds of Western North Atlantic Fishes. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins Press. pg. 192-193.