Myth Buster: Do fish have three second memories?
"My memory is so bad that my fish remembers things longer than I do."
How many times have you had a friend, or maybe yourself say something along those lines? You think itís whimsical, and itís perfect for the right conversation. Especially if one has a fish. But did you know, the whole idea that fish have a 3 second memory is developing to be nothing more than a myth? Thatís right. Studies are now showing that fish can possible remember things up to six months!
While the average fish owner might look at this new detail and simply scoff, more experienced owners might discover that the above is true!
There was an experiement in which researchers from the Technion Institute of Technology in Israel trained a group of young fish to associate a sound with feeding time. This process was done for a month before they were sent out into the ocean. Four to five months later, the researchers played the sound and surprisingly, the fish returned for food! Itís not shocking in the least that these fish are so intelligent. Minnows are found to have the same intelligence as mice!
In my experience, I happen to have four bettas, but for this example, I will only use my three. Buddha is my eldest one, and he has been with me for over seven months. Over the time Iíve had him, I have noticed that he reacts when only I come near the tank. Often, he will sleep on the bottom of the tank and wait until I am near to return to his normal behavior. Hmmm, not convinced? Alright.
My other two bettas, Pudge and Squirt, have developed a very interesting habit. They both live in a tank together (separated, mind you) and get fed at the same time. During feeding time, I will put the bottle in front of the tank, in a place where they can both see it, and as soon as their eyes catch sight of it, they will dart to the front of the tank immediately. Not convinced? Okay, well once Iím ready to feed them the pellets, I open the small window of the tank, and they both swim straight over to the corner of their divider, and wait. They donít move away, because they know that that is exactly where I drop their pellets. Iíve witnessed them actually coming to the area, just to ask for food on days when I havenít fed them yet!
Fish intelligence is nothing to be scoffed at. Just because theyíre small, doesnít mean that their brain or intelligence is. In the long run, they definitely will surprise you with how much they remember. If they were any bigger, Iím sure theyíd be able to say hi to you in the same way your cat or dog does. So remember, they can remember.
(((Original article at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1106884/Three-second-memory-myth-Fish-remember-months.html