There's some fin about that Christmasmelody…
SCIENTISTS are to test whether sharks enjoy listening to Christmas pop songs, it was revealed yesterday.
They will also find out whether the fish prefer Slade's Merry Christmas Everyone to Cliff Richard's Mistletoe and Wine.
The songs and other festive hits will be played to the sharks and rays at Loch Lomond Sea Life Centre in Balloch, Dunbartonshire.
The tests were devised after US research showed fish could recognise melody.
Chris Brown, senior marine biologist at the Loch Lomond aquarium, said seasonal chartbusters would be piped through walkthrough underwater tunnels where they can be heard by dozens of nurse sharks, black-tip reef sharks, and ray species.
Experts will then monitor the sharks' reactions to different hits.
Mr Brown said outward signs such as them lowering their fin tips, swimming faster and making sudden tight turns would indicate excitement or aggression.
He said: "We'll play everything from Kim Wilde and Mel Smith's Rocking Around the Christmas Tree and Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade to Wham's Last Christmas.
"We may find they prefer something softer like White Christmas by Bing Crosby.
"But we will be answering the question – do rays know it's Christmas?"
Mr Brown said nurse sharks and other species of carpet shark which spend most of their time lying on the bed of the tanks, could be the best barometers for the impact of those pop tunes. Their reactions will tell the researchers whether the sharks are enjoying the music or whether it turns them off.
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