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Old 09-08-2012, 06:52 PM   #1 
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Are bettas capable of affection/trust?

We were recently schooled that betta fish do not build bubble nests because they are happy, it is simply instinct.

Now we have a thread about bettas that "cuddle" or "love" or show "trust". I say they are just going on instinct once again. Either going after food, showing aggression or they are showing they are ready to breed.

What do you think?
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:23 PM   #2 
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They bond with you because you feed them.
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:47 PM   #3 
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It is hard to be certain, really. I know that a lot of animals have been relegated to the "instinct only" category, only to have science later find out that they are capable of at least basal emotions. We tend to think of higher order animals like birds and mammals as being the only ones capable of emotion, but evidence of it has been found in a wide range of animals. Animals that are very different than we are can be especially hard to figure out.
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:49 PM   #4 
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:03 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BettaQi View Post
That's all Greek to me, I'm no scientist


I think anything alive & possessing a brain is aware of its surroundings. "Aware" doesn't translate to "oh I love you and trust you" IMO
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:07 PM   #6 
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No, I agree that aware does not translate to emotions. The article linked state that they are conscious in the same way that humans are. However, there is a growing body of evidence for true emotion in animals that were once considered to have no emotion. As far as I can tell, insects do not have emotion, but as far as science could tell years ago, neither did cats and dogs.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:11 PM   #7 
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So there's a possibility that bettas DO make bubble nests because they are happy?
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:15 PM   #8 
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That particular action is probably instinct, but my point is that true emotion in bettas cannot be ruled out. It seems every time scientists says "Nope, no emotion in that species!", we find out we were morons.

I now need to go hide in case my advisor somehow manages to see this post. :P
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:18 PM   #9 
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Originally Posted by harleraven View Post
No, I agree that aware does not translate to emotions. The article linked state that they are conscious in the same way that humans are. However, there is a growing body of evidence for true emotion in animals that were once considered to have no emotion. As far as I can tell, insects do not have emotion, but as far as science could tell years ago, neither did cats and dogs.
I disagree, my praying mantis certainly had emotion and showed affection by actually grooming me. They don't even do that to each other but she would sit and groom my fingers until she was satisfied and she also got excited to see me after school every day and would climb to the top of her cage so I would take her out. I certainly felt she had affection for me and enjoyed my company. Basically Scyther was a dog. My mice and rats have also shown affection and emotion. They get depressed when I am gone for a while. It went so far as my rats and mice didn't eat when I was in New York for a week. When I got home my rats actually jumped from their cage and snuggled against my neck. I think if they can feel emotions so can fish and insects. All animals feel fear this is proven. It's a survival mechanism. If you were not afraid then you would be dead and eaten so ALL things feel fear which is an emotion, fish, insects, mammals birds. We also know they feel aggression and anger, we see betta's display this. These are emotions in their own right so who is to say they can not trust and love as well? All things domesticated by man learn to live with us and even to a point understand us.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:20 PM   #10 
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Jury's out on betta fish, apparently. That article mentions a list of animals but I couldn't find a list in any of the links.
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