fish also have self-awareness, test

You will also be interested

[EN VIDÉO] Five mesmerizing tropical fish are revealed at the top
Tropical fish are known for their amazing colors and shapes. That is why they are the joy of aquarists. Futura has put together for you five of the most beautiful specimens.

It’s blue, white and … black. It measures on average about ten centimeters long. And in everyday life he calls himself the cleanest Napoleon. Because he likes to clean his swimming teammates of the ectoparasites they carry on them. Actually, it’s not so much that he likes it. It’s because he has no choice. He is what experts call a “mandatory cleaner”. Understand that in order to survive, you need to clean up other fish.

The common cleaning napoleon is a tropical fish. It is located mainly next to the Great Barrier Reef. Also in the Red Sea. Or even in the seas of Indonesia. There it is able to clean more than 2,000 fish a day. And unfortunately for him, some of his “clients” sometimes confuse him with fish from the blenny family that look a lot like them. The problem is that these fish are not good cleaners, but skin shredders, fins and scales. If you know what I mean …

Definitely fun fish, this common cleaner. Because a woman is born and grows up sex change become a man. From’hermaphroditism successive protogynous type, scientists say. But also, and perhaps above all, because he was the first of the fish to pass the test mirror.

The mirror test passed by a fish?

the mirror test, remember, was imagined in the 1970s by an American psychologist, Gordon Gallup. Its goal is to determine which species are endowed with self-awareness. The test is simple. At first sight. Make a colored dot on the forehead of an animal and then place it in front of a mirror. If the animal reacts by wanting, for example, to remove this stain from its forehead, it is because it understands that the image in front of it corresponds to its own image. Among the animals that passed this test:Asian elephantthe pig, the gorilla or the dolphin.

As for the common cleansing napoleon, researchers observed this surprising behavior a few years ago. Fish dancing in front of the mirrors lining the walls of their aquarium. And that, once the colored stain stuck to their throats, they spent a lot of time looking at these mirrors. He even tried to erase the stains by clearing his throat several times. Because they only confused them with the ectoparasites they like to collect back of his fish friends, then mocked some scientists.

new tests

So the researchers continued their work to confirm – or invalidate – their hypothesis. They first placed common cleaning lobsters in two adjacent tanks. Then they cleared their throats. And none were scratched in response. It is enough to show that a visual stimulus in another fish is not enough to provoke the reaction observed in the common cleaning lobes placed in front of a mirror.

To understand the other verification performed by the researchers, remember that the animals tested must first be familiar with the presence of the mirror. The process is developed in three stages. During the first stage, the animal placed in the presence of a mirror is aggressive. To him, the mirror is another animal. In the second stage, the aggression dissipates, but the animal retains an unnatural behavior that shows that it has understood that the mirror is not another animal. In the third stage, finally, the animal discovers its body in the mirror watching it carefully. Then it’s time to mark his forehead, or some other part of his body that he can only see in the mirror.

But everything can go wrong just by moving the mirror. Aggressive behavior then reappears in animals that have not linked the mirror to their own image. Instead, the cleaner Napoleon seems to stay calm when the mirror changes sides. One more proof, according to researchers, that this fish that does not look like much is self-aware. That he … is not so stupid. Or, that the validity of the mirror test should be reviewed.

Support your independent scientific media – discover our subscription formulas!

4 good reasons to subscribe to Future in Patreon:

  1. A site without any advertising from 3.29 euros per month.
  2. It is without commitment.
  3. Priority content access, preview, for you only.
  4. Support our business in the best way possible. A real motivation for us!
I subscribe to Future in Patreon

Are you interested in what you just read?

Leave a Comment