Out of 18 fish that were tested, only 17 showed a response to the visual cues of markings on their bodies when they were presented with a mirror.
According to a new study, fish could be self-aware enough to see themselves in mirrors. This is similar to human and ape sanity. Over a long period of time, researchers from Osaka City University’s Graduate School of Science explored the possibility that fish can mirror self-recognize themselves.
An anesthetic was administered to the fish. The artificial brown marking on its body resembled a parasite. Finally, a mirror was provided so that the animal could examine the mark and touch it.
Researchers chose to study the cleaner wrasse fish because they were more likely to be able to identify it. “will pay attention to small parasites.”If the mirror is presented to the fish, they will scrape their stomachs against the substrate of the tank in order to get rid of any brown pigment.
The controversy surrounding the 2019 first study erupted after it was revealed that the sample size used and the method of marking could have physically irritated fish, leading to their own self-scraping reactions.
This new study aims to address that critique with a larger sample and a new injection method at a lower depth (one millimeter) than in the previous, more invasive three millimeter injection.
According to the test, the shallow-marked fish only scraped their mouths when there was a mirror, suggesting that they were reacting to the sight of the brown spots on their own.
“With these new experiments the evidence for [mirror self-recognition] is about as strong as it can get,”Frans De Waal, a primatologist, criticized the original study.
De Waal pointed out that there is a possibility that fish might experience self-awareness. “unreasonable assumption”It is a common belief that humans are the only ones capable of such cognitive abilities, and that only apes can. “Why would awareness be the only cognitive trait in the animal world that appeared all of a sudden without any precedent and only in a tiny group of species?”
Osaka City University’s team plans to continue their research with another piece that examines the topic. “more interesting question”See how fish see themselves in the mirror. Also, look at their faces to determine if they recognize each other as human beings.
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