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Scientists Debunk 3-Second Memory Myth, Fish Can Remember for 5 Months

Scientists Debunk 3-Second Memory Myth, Fish Can Remember for 5 Months

Australian scientists have debunked the myth that fish have a three-second memory, they can actually recall information for up to five months.

“Fish can remember prey types for months. They can learn to avoid predators after being attacked once and they retain this memory for several months. And carp that have been caught by fishers avoid hooks for at least a year,” lead author Kevin Warburton said.

The researchers at Charles Sturt University say that three-second rule is “absolute rubbish.” No one is sure where they myth started but you needn’t look any further than Finding Nemo to know it exists–not that I didn’t love Ellen Degeneres’ Dory.

Researchers trained young fish to associate a sound with feeding time. Each time they played that particular sound…the fish would return. They found minnows to be at least as intelligent as rats.

Fish not only remember, they can increase their food-catching skills and even carry out acts of deception. For example, cleaner fish in reef environments act on their best behavior when a larger feeder is nearby.

Warburton said: “What’s fascinating is that they co-operate more with clients when they are being observed by other potential clients. This improves their ‘image’ and their chances of attracting clients.”

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Source: Times

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/24710622@N05/ / CC BY 2.0

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155 comments

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6:55PM PST on Mar 10, 2010

It's incredible how intelligent many animals are. Understanding this intelligence, given their small brain size, could unlock whole new methods of computation.

6:56PM PST on Feb 23, 2010

Beautiful story! I had an aquarium years ago. I had one Angel fish that would get so excited to see me. She would come to the top and stare at me. When I would tap the glass, she would kiss my finger, over and over again! We sure have a lot to learn about all of the beautiful creatures God so lovingly gave our world!

4:05PM PST on Feb 13, 2010

YES!!
Sparky did remember me!!

4:30PM PST on Feb 6, 2010

Now that's just cool!

2:27PM PST on Feb 6, 2010

Scientists still amaze when they observe that living creatures are, indeed, alive, and realize that they are not simple machines as it is apparently assumed by them. How far are we form understanding life?

6:53PM PST on Feb 5, 2010

I just can't get enough.. the more animals the better!!!

10:59AM PST on Feb 5, 2010

Thanks for letting me do the "I was right again...and that means you were wrong again" dance for my hubby and FIL! LOL

7:49AM PST on Feb 1, 2010

I knew fish were intelligent, all animals are.

10:25AM PST on Jan 31, 2010

Thanks!

3:34PM PST on Jan 28, 2010

Fishinating story. Thanks!

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