Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What We Owe Fish

This article from today's New York Times has nothing to do with fish training - but it is all about what we owe to fish. It talks about a new book called 'Your Inner Fish' which points out that "many traits we take pride in, the body parts and behaviors we exalt as hallmarks of our humanity, were really invented by fish."

It discusses how, among other things, fish invented:

  • bilateral symmetry
  • hinged jaws
  • teeth
  • backbones
  • prosocial behaviors like cooperation and reciprocity

Clearly we owe a lot to our fish ancestors. Given what we've seen they can be taught, we here at Fish School wouldn't be at all surprised if scientists discover that fish are among the most ancient of creatures capable of learning - of flexibly modifing their behavior to better cope with a changing environment.

--Dean

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