Fish and Mirrors - Smarter Than You Think?

J. H.

Redtail Catfish
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A couple of articles I found. Seems fish know mirrors are fake somehow.
https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-self-aware-fish-raises-doubts-about-a-cognitive-test-20181212/
https://www.nature.com/news/fish-fail-to-see-reflections-as-rivals-1.16099
They have a wrasse that can respond to changes in its appearance based on what it sees in the mirror, and try wiping off painted on 'dirt' (first link), and a bunch of cichlids that respond differently to a mirror than to a rival. (second link)
Just food for thought.
 

J. H.

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"This world will end when cyclists obey traffic laws."

Do you live in Portland Oregon????
Rockland, NY. Just south of NYC. Cyclists are the same everywhere, just as car drivers are.
 

RD.

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I think those papers, and the results, are highly subjective.

"The biggest problem is that we are testing for a behaviour that requires a series of actions and reactions from at least two participants, in a setting that only includes one individual,” says Balzarini. "

I have used and/or experimented with mirrors for several decades, with both fish, and birds, and I agree with the comment above. IME fish are not necessarily fooled by a mirror, I think the term confused might be more accurate. IME the initial reaction with male fish, is they see the mirror as an intruder, and they become aggressive. How long that aggression and overall negative reaction takes place varied among species, with some cichlids carrying on until I removed the mirror.

Using mirrors to "groom" a gonadal trigger from fish such as flowerhorn is a very common practice. Elevated gonad levels results in an increase in nuchal size, which for most FH enthusiasts is very important. If the fish wasn't fooled, this practice would net little to no results, so clearly the fish are fooled.
 

J. H.

Redtail Catfish
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I think those papers, and the results, are highly subjective.

"The biggest problem is that we are testing for a behaviour that requires a series of actions and reactions from at least two participants, in a setting that only includes one individual,” says Balzarini. "

I have used and/or experimented with mirrors for several decades, with both fish, and birds, and I agree with the comment above. IME fish are not necessarily fooled by a mirror, I think the term confused might be more accurate. IME the initial reaction with male fish, is they see the mirror as an intruder, and they become aggressive. How long that aggression and overall negative reaction takes place varied among species, with some cichlids carrying on until I removed the mirror.

Using mirrors to "groom" a gonadal trigger from fish such as flowerhorn is a very common practice. Elevated gonad levels results in an increase in nuchal size, which for most FH enthusiasts is very important. If the fish wasn't fooled, this practice would net little to no results, so clearly the fish are fooled.
I agree with you about the second article , but the first one about the wrasse really sounds like they understand mirrors.
 

dan518

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Sep 20, 2014
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There was a study done a while back that found cichlids in separate water systems but next to each other didn't respond in the same way as separated fish in the same water system aggression wise. There conclusion suggested that pheromones might be released and if a fish see's aggression aimed at it but doesn't detect the pheromones it will have a different response.
 
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