See a grumpy toadfish sing strange love songs

A mating song that sounds like a vibrating cell phone makes this unusual sea creature fun to watch.

Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
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That's not a vibrating phone you're hearing, it's the toadfish mating call. 

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

The grouchy-looking toadfish might not be the most attractive creature in the ocean, but that doesn't mean it won't do its best to lure in some loving. 

To attract a mate, the toadfish sings using a series of boops and grunts that almost sounds like a vibrating cell phone. 

A similar species -- the Bocon toadfish -- creates its mating song using muscles surrounding its swim bladder.

Ocean videographer Bob Mazur thought he was hearing sounds coming from his scuba gear, until he spotted the noisy sea creature hiding under some coral.

"Some toadfish sounds are used to attract females to nesting sites, and others are used as warning signals–probably the case in this instance," according to a National Geographic video posted on May 8. "During this dive in Cozumel, several fish could be heard singing over each other. What a splendid toadfish surprise."

While the sounds of the toadfish amuse humans, they could prove to be deadly for the toadfish if dolphins are around. A whopping 80 percent of bottlenose dolphin diets contain the sound-producing toadfish, according to Live Science

On the flip side, if toadfish hear dolphin whistles, the fish stops its mating call to increase its chances of not being eaten. 

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