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Blondesjon's avatar

Are members of Phylum Chordata able to produce methane waste?

Asked by Blondesjon (33838points) November 6th, 2010

In other words, do fish fart?

i’ve always wondered

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16 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I have never noticed little bubbles coming from that end. Now I wonder, too.

marinelife's avatar

Actually, the herring in @ucme‘s video are not farting as humans do. They are excreting air from a small tube next to their anus for the purpose of communication, but it is not flatulence that is the product of digestion.

Apparently, the answer to this question is hotly debated among ichthyologists.

Plucky's avatar

It’s actually something that has been an ongoing debate. Their digestive gases are consolidated with their food waste ..and released in gelatinous tubes (which they eat).

Some fish, though, have been known to release bubbles from excess air intake. Example: Tiger Sharks gulp air from the surface then “fart” it out at the other end to help it sink to its desired depth in the water (whether this would be considered a gaseous fart though, I’m not sure).

HungryGuy's avatar

Why don’t you research this for your PhD thesis?

ucme's avatar

@marinelife I won’t debate where the far end of a fart blows from. It’s good enough for me though.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Chordata includes all vertebrates not just fish. So the answer to the question is yes. No idea about fish inparticular though.

marinelife's avatar

@ucme Sorry, didn’t mean to burst your bubble (pun definitely intended). I enjoyed your link to the video. I just had to point out that there was controversy over what constituted a fish fart.

ucme's avatar

@marinelife I put forward a motion this be forwarded to the united nations. Coz if whales fart, then I think a tsunami warning is the best plan of action.

Trillian's avatar

@marinelife Wow. How did you know that?
But logically, a fish has an alimentary tract. It eliminates the waste product. It consumes organic matter and organic matter decomposes and breaks down. Some of the by products are necessarily in the form of gas, and if they didn’t pass that gas, wouldn’t they eventually float to the top? Is that not why dead fish float?
Yaay me. I just put that all together by myself.

ETpro's avatar

@Lightlyseared While many chordates are vertebrate, not all are, and certainly not all vertebrate are chordates. Here’s what distinguishes the chordata from other phyla.

Here’s what I was able to find.

“Believe it or not, whether fish suffer flatulence is an ongoing debate among ichthyologists.

“True farting is a by-product of digestion, and some experts say that the digestive gases of fish are consolidated with their feces and expelled in gelatinous tubes (which fish then eat!) ...” http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=72695

Lightlyseared's avatar

@ETpro I didn’t say that all chordates are vertebrates. I said all vertebrates are chordates. Vertebrata is sub-phylum of Chordata. By definition then something can’t be in the sub phylum and not be in the phylum. It even says this in the link that you provided if you had bothered to read the thing.

ETpro's avatar

@Lightlyseared Oops. I see I got the order of the statement backward. You are quite right, and thus we know that at least some members of the phylum chordata do produce methane.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Just to be a bit more specific fish fall under 3 classes. chondrichthyes- cartilaginous fishes sarcopterygii- lobed finned bony fishes and actinopterygii- ray-finned bony fishes

as per the farting thing, i aint got a fuckin clue

ETpro's avatar

@uberbatman Don’t make me look it up again, but I found a reference that said that fishes digestive tracts do produce methane, but it comes out mixed with a sludge-like fecal material they extrude.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@ETpro yea i see that link above now, didnt really read just wanted to clear up the whole phylum class thing :P

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