Research, Technology

Fish are smarter than expected - they remember their appearance and recognize themselves in the photo

Fish are considered to be completely primitivecreatures with very short memories. But is it really so? One of the hallmarks of intelligence is self-awareness, that is, the ability to think about oneself. At the same time, it doesn’t matter what and how to think, the main thing is that thoughts are about oneself, and this is already self-consciousness. But how do you know if fish have self-awareness, because they can't share their thoughts with us? This can be done indirectly. For example, the most common is the mirror test, in which the test being is allowed to look at his own reflection. A recent study showed that wrasse fish recognize themselves not only in mirrors, but also in still images.

Pisces have self-awareness and a good memory

Self-awareness test - how is it carried out?

In the mirror, the reflection repeats all movementsanimal, so it can guess that it is seeing itself. But how do you know that an animal has recognized itself? For example, if it is aggressively tuned to reflection, and tries to fight with it, then there can be no doubt - the animal perceives the reflection as another creature.

But how to understand if the animal does not react in any wayto reflection? To do this, scientists have improved the test - they put a bright or luminous spot on the animal, which the animal itself does not see. If it recognizes itself, it will reach for the spot on itself, not on the image.

Self-awareness test is carried out using a mirror

It is believed that children begin to recognize themselves inmirror at the age of 1-1.5 years. Dolphins, great apes and crows also pass the self-awareness test. Recall that the latter pass many tests for intelligence even better than monkeys.

Pisces are self-aware

In a recent study, researchers tested forthe presence of a self-aware fish, Labroides dimidiatus, which is one of several species of cleaner wrasse that lives on coral reefs from East Africa and the Red Sea to French Polynesia. They are called cleaners because they clean off parasites from other, larger fish.

Formerly employees of Osaka City Universityconducted the usual mirror test with sponges. First, they placed the aquarium mirror for a week, and then applied paint under the scales. At the same time, the spot in appearance resembled a parasite, which wrasses clean off from other fish. When the wrasses noticed a stain on themselves in the mirror, they tried to clean it off. This suggests that they thought of themselves, that is, they demonstrated self-awareness.

Gubanchiki recognized themselves not only in the mirror, but also in the photo

In a new study, scientists decided to complicatetask, and find out if these small fish can recognize themselves in the photo. At first, they taught them to recognize themselves in the mirror in the same way, for which they placed the mirror in the aquarium. A week later, the wrasses were shown photos with their images, as well as images of other fish.

The wrasses did not react to their photos, but withimages of strangers tried to start a fight. When the fish were shown a photo where they had a spot in the form of a parasite, the fish tried to get rid of it. But when they were shown photos of other fish with the same spot, they did not react to it in any way. That is, wrasses recognized themselves in the photo, as scientists reported in their study, published in the journal PNAS.

Do fish have a good memory?

It is much harder to recognize yourself in a photo than in a mirror.As we said above, animals can guess that they see themselves, since all their movements are repeated. But in the photo the picture is still, which means that in order to recognize yourself, you need to have your own image in your head.

Birds are an example of brain size not playing a key role in intelligence

This is a very surprising result, since the fishdo not differ at all in the large size of the brain in relation to their body. Although, recently scientists have already found examples of the fact that the size of the brain does not play a decisive role. Not so long ago we talked about birds whose brains turned out to be more “energy efficient”, which allows them to surpass many mammals in cognitive abilities. Therefore, scientists plan to uncover the secret of the wrasse brain at the neurobiological level.

You will find even more interesting materials on our YANDEX.ZEN CHANNEL. Subscribe soon so you don't miss out on the fun!

Finally, we recall that not only fish are able to show a fairly high level of cognitive abilities, but also insects, namely bumblebees, which we talked about not so long ago.