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Fish as clever as mammals, says scientist

Discussion in 'Fish' started by alphacat, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. alphacat

    alphacat New Member

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    Scientist finds fish are as clever as mammals
    By Sarah Knapton

    Fish are just as intelligent as rats, a scientist has claimed following new research.

    While owls and foxes have earned a reputation for wisdom and cunning, the humble goldfish has become popularly known for its ignorance, swimming contentedly around its bowl as its memory was wiped every three seconds.

    The stereotype of a goldfish with a three second memory appears to be a myth. But that view has been challenged by a new study. Dr Mike Webster of St Andrews University has discovered fish show a high level of intelligence when they are in danger.

    "A lot of people have this stereotype image of a goldfish with a three second memory and that's not the case at all," said Dr Webster.

    "It is probably accurate to say that many fishes such as minnows, sticklebacks and guppies are capable of the same intellectual feats as rats or mice."

    Dr Webster carried out a series of experiments to show how minnows escape being eaten by predators by using techniques of shared learning.
    He discovered that a solitary fish separated from the shoal by a clear plastic divider, will make its own decisions when there is no threat.
    But when a predator was placed in the shared pool, the single fish took its cue on how to act by watching the other fish.

    The biologist said: "These experiments provide clear evidence that minnows increasingly rely on social learning as the basis for their foraging decisions as the perceived threat of a predator increases."

    Dr Webster said sharing learning was a human trait.

    He added: 'Traditionally fishes have been looked upon as simple or intellectually inferior animals that are incapable of learning, with notoriously poor memories.

    "Although fishes are the oldest group this does not mean that they ceased evolving."

    Scientist finds fish are as clever as mammals - Telegraph
     
  2. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm not quite convinced.

    If a predator is introduced to a tank with the fish, isn't the fish's behavior just instinct...instinct is different from intellience/cleveriness.

    Heck, I know to start swimming for land when I see a toothy shark cruising next to me. ~:>

    -John N.
     
  3. StanChung

    StanChung Aspiring Aquascaper

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    LOL, I think fish are selectively smart.

    The more scaredy, the smarter they seem. Goldfish IMO are as dumb as they come due to them thinking with their bellies.

    Discus on the other hand recognises the owner[or at least the bugger that feeds them]
    Experimented with a friend on many occasions. I can touch my discus and they peck my hand once they've established I'm the food provider over a period of time. Whereas my housemate[who's never fed them] tries to do the same and the discus runs for cover.

    Same goes when I go to discus farms. They all run for cover when the see me but approach the tank when the owner comes.

    3 second memory? Depends on the fish really IMO.
     
  4. Brilliant

    Brilliant New Member

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    Agreed. If your keeping discus then you know first hand. Instinct tells fish to run. Wild caught discus, plecos and others feeding from hand show they learn patterns and keep longer memory.

    I think certain species are smarter then others.
     
  5. XPLOSV

    XPLOSV New Member

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    Brilliant: I Agree.

    Hand feeding Discus and angels can be really fun if your bored, they normally run toward you/glass when your in the room or near the tank.

    I also seen Trained Japanese Goldfish.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7g9NarTvpE]YouTube - Trained Japanese Goldfish[/ame]
     
  6. Xema

    Xema New Member

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    Intelligence is a consequence of instinct...

    Scientist are observing ravens have a high developed intelligence at same level for example as big monkeys.
    Resolving problems at first or second attempt is considered a sign of high intelligence because to do it you need to resolve the problem firstly in you mind, so that means an exercise of abstraction, and that is the point of our own intelligence.
     
  7. StanChung

    StanChung Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Maybe the goldies are really smart by appealing to our weakness by begging!
     

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