Barry White tunes put sharks in the mood

Shy sharks were today being serenaded by the Walrus of Love in an unusual experiment to help them mate.

Shy sharks were today being serenaded by the Walrus of Love in an unusual experiment to help them mate.

Barry White love songs and other romantic tunes were being pumped in to tanks containing dogfish, starry smooth hounds and tope at The National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham.

The move follows research by American scientists at the Rowland Institute for Science in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that fish can appreciate and identify different types of music.

Josie Sutherland, a curator at the attraction, decided to put the theory to the test ahead of Valentine’s Day.

She said: ‘‘Research by scientists at the Rowland Institute showed that fish process music in a similar way to humans and can even appreciate different tunes and melodies.

‘‘We’ve already experienced fantastic success with breeding many species at the centre but I’m always open to new ideas.

‘‘We’ll be playing lots of different types of music from soppy Barry White love songs to modern pop classics and note the reaction of the sharks to each song.

‘‘We’ll soon know if it does the trick because in the early stages of shark courtship, the male chases the female at high speed and attempts to bite her back and pectoral fin.’’

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