Monday, June 6, 2016

Fish are more than reactive, they think and feel

New York Times/Opinion/Jonathan Balcome, 5/14/16. "Fishes have feelings, too."

Image result for Goldfish picture
Fish are "people" too, be kind.
"Washington — In March, two marine biologists published a study of giant manta rays responding to their reflections in a large mirror installed in their aquarium in the Bahamas. The two captive rays circled in front of the mirror, blew bubbles and performed unusual body movements as if checking their reflection. They made no obvious attempt to interact socially with their reflections, suggesting that they did not mistake what they saw as other rays. The scientists concluded that the mantas seemed to be recognizing their reflections as themselves.

Mirror self-recognition is a big deal. It indicates self-awareness, a mental attribute previously known only among creatures of noted intelligence like great apes, dolphins, elephants and magpies.  ...
....  As a biologist who specializes in animal behavior and emotions, I’ve spent the past four years exploring the science on the inner lives of fishes. What I’ve uncovered indicates that we grossly underestimate these fabulously diverse marine vertebrates. The accumulating evidence leads to an inescapable conclusion: Fishes think and feel.

 ....  They are not instinct-driven or machinelike. Their minds respond flexibly to different situations. They are not just things; they are sentient beings with lives that matter to them. A fish has a biography, not just a biology.

A series of captive experiments dating from the 1940s found something remarkable. They memorize the tide pool layout while swimming over it at high tide. They can do it in one try, and remember it 40 days later. So much for a fish’s mythic three-second memory. ....  Tool use was once thought the sole province of humans, but the behavior has now been discovered in a wide range of animals, including fishes."  Read article. 

Reference, author's opinion. Jonathan Balcombe is the director of animal sentience with the Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy and the author, most recently, of “What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins.”

Note photograph from Complete Goldfish care.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Fish, like all animals feel pain, and want to live, just like us. Fish are our friends, not food. Including fishing and 'hook and release' fishing for sport, it's just as cruel to living sentient beings that DO feel pain. For a free ebook on vegetarian and vegan living (with you videos) you can go to