Experiment: do fish recognize themselves in the mirror?



This is very strange to realize, but the ability to recognize your face in a mirror image — this is a very rare skill in the animal world. People are able to recognize themselves from about 15 months of age — it is also capable of some types of monkeys, elephants and even birds. Researchers from the universities of Germany, Romania and Japan decided to find out whether fish have such a skill and, moreover, whether they have a sense of self-consciousness. The result of the experiment surprised them so much that they do not fully believe in it.

Fish and its reflection

The experiment was conducted on fish of the genus Guban, which are common in the Eastern Atlantic ocean. The researchers took a few fish and marked them in the head area, which can only be seen in a mirror image. The idea was to see if the fish could recognize themselves and try to erase the mark.

When one of the fish saw his reflection and began to RUB against the hard surface to remove the trace, the researchers were very surprised. This was the first hint that Pisces understands when a relative is standing in front of them, and when — a mirror. To verify the purity of the experiment, the researchers struck them on the forehead transparent label, fish did nothing, and it means that the first time they focused on reflection, not felt label other senses. The researchers also tried to deceive the fish by drawing a mark on the aquarium-they fish just did not react.

self-aware-fish-2-650x650 Research  Experiment: do fish recognize themselves in the mirror?

The fact that the fish passed the mirror test, so surprised researchers that they doubt its results. According to one of the authors of the work of Alex Jordan, although Pisces reacted to the reflection, this does not mean that they have self-consciousness. According to him, Pisces rather recognize their own body in the reflection, but full understanding of themselves has nothing to do with it.

It is noteworthy that marine life is really very smart. For example, about the cognitive abilities of dolphins can be read in our special material.


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Updated: February 9, 2019 — 3:23 am

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