Scientists have found a small mirror opposite the wall of the aquarium.
Japanese scientists from Osaka University found that fish recognize themselves when looking in a mirror. According to the newspaper Asahi, these data are the first of its kind and may indicate that fish are the beginnings of consciousness.
During the experiment, Japanese researchers have placed in the aquarium with the tropical fish from the family of cleaners that are often found in the waters of Japan. The researchers then mounted a small mirror opposite the wall of the aquarium. The fish immediately began to attack his reflection, showing what it perceives as an invader in their territory. However, over time the animal began to study the movements of its “double”, to move up and down along the walls of the tank and rotated around its axis. On the fifth day of the experiment, the fish calmed down and stopped reacting to what is happening in the mirror.
Continuing the experience, the researchers caused the marks on the bodies of four cleaners who also already passed through a previous stage of the experiment. They were again placed in the aquarium with mirrors. He saw his reflection, the three “subjects” of the four tried to scrub the marks on the bottom of the aquarium. The result allowed the scientists to assert that in this way the fish recognize themselves in the mirror and showed probable signs of consciousness. In the future, this discovery could prove that the intelligence of these creatures is superior to the entrenched ideas about it.
Question about the cognitive abilities of animals is one of the most important problems of modern science. If scientists will be able to confirm that other representatives of the terrestrial fauna may think, it will force humanity to reconsider their rights and responsibilities towards animals. Researchers have found explicit cognitive abilities in chimpanzees and dolphins, and with the opening of the staff of the Osaka University, the fish has a chance to become the next in the list of beings who have the rudiments of reason.