Fish capable of learning and remembering

Authors: Robert Matthews, Science Correspondent
Journal: The Telegraph
Year: 3 Oct 2004
Where: London

The Telegraph newspaper in Britain, reported findings published by the scientifically prestigious Royal Society. The paper said that fish are very effective in learning, remembering, and other higher level thinking.

"According to Dr Burt de Perera, the findings - which appear in the current issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society - show that fish are under-estimated."

" ’The public perception of them is that they are pea-brained numbskulls that can’t remember things for more than a few seconds,’ " she told the Telegraph. " ’We’re now finding that they are very capable of learning and remembering, and possess a range of cognitive skills that would surprise many people.’ "

"Dr Burt de Perera’s findings have been welcomed by fish-lovers as proof that their pets can do more than blow bubbles. " ’They are totally misunderstood,’ " said Karen Youngs, the editor of Practical Fishkeeping. " ’We know from our readers that fish can recognise their owners, and some will go into a sulk if someone else tries to feed them.’ "

"Mrs Youngs added that the research may mean that fish-owners have to make their aquaria a bit more interesting for their occupants: " ’We know that fish such as oscars do enjoy having a table-tennis ball to bash about.’ "

Fish Pain