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Thread: Is There a Smart Fish?

  1. #1 Is There a Smart Fish? 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    A spinoff of Spurios' Fishing thread.

    They seem pretty dumb to me. I've heard a fish's memory is all of 3 seconds. Considering the millions of years fish have populated the waters of the Earth its a wonder at least one hasn't achieved a very recognizable intelligence level. Unless you count the little bugger that crawled out on land one day and decided to stay.

    Which brings me to my point...if left to their own devices and assuming no creatures lived on land or if there was no land to speak of above sea level would fish evolve towards intelligence? Have fish reached their apex evolutionary style concerning intelligence? Is evolving on land a greater advantage, again for intelligence?


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  3. #2 Re: Is There a Smart Fish? 
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    A spinoff of Spurios' Fishing thread.

    They seem pretty dumb to me. I've heard a fish's memory is all of 3 seconds. Considering the millions of years fish have populated the waters of the Earth its a wonder at least one hasn't achieved a very recognizable intelligence level. Unless you count the little bugger that crawled out on land one day and decided to stay.

    Which brings me to my point...if left to their own devices and assuming no creatures lived on land or if there was no land to speak of above sea level would fish evolve towards intelligence? Have fish reached their apex evolutionary style concerning intelligence? Is evolving on land a greater advantage, again for intelligence?
    Dunno about the ray-fins. Their current radiation is, I think, more recent than the earlier radiation of the lobefins (from which lineage all the land vertebrates sprang). So, barring intereference, there might still be surprises their design or (Gould favourite) their bauplan, might allow.

    In any case, I thought there was some evidence that, marine/aquatic mammals (and perhaps birds) aside the most trainable water-living creatures were the octopodes? Anyone know any more about that?


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  4. #3 Re: Is There a Smart Fish? 
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I've heard a fish's memory is all of 3 seconds.
    I really believe that's just a popular myth. I've heard it's not true.
    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    Would there be any need for fish to become intelligent ? Plants have no need for intelligence. It seems in the oceans all you need is an evolutionary smart idea or a big row of teeth and an arsehole.
    Eat Dolphin, save the Tuna!!!!
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat1981(England)
    Would there be any need for fish to become intelligent ? Plants have no need for intelligence. It seems in the oceans all you need is an evolutionary smart idea or a big row of teeth and an arsehole.
    well, like shanks mentioned, octopi and squid are fairly intelligent, and other than marine mammals, are arguably the smartest critters in the ocean. Obviously intelligence can do you some good in the oceans. But fish don't usually follow that strategy.

    There are fish with more complex behaviors than others, but nothing that stands out enough to really call them "smart."
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Dolphins have an EQ of 5 and humans have an EQ of 7. Where Ourangatans (if thats how you spell it) have an EQ of 4. Dolphins however are mammals and so are Ourangatans, so it begs the question, are mammals more likely to learn and be more intelligent than any other type of species?
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    Quote Originally Posted by svwillmer
    Dolphins have an EQ of 5 and humans have an EQ of 7. Where Ourangatans (if thats how you spell it) have an EQ of 4. Dolphins however are mammals and so are Ourangatans, so it begs the question, are mammals more likely to learn and be more intelligent than any other type of species?
    Mammals, particulary carnivores and omnivores, are usually considered to be the most 'intelligent' (or if you don't like that word, trainable) of animals.
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    And with marine mammals giving birth to their young, they would need a certain amount of maternal care, which would mean that they would have some social skills and therefor a higher level of intelligence then an average 'fish'.

    Presumably.
    Eat Dolphin, save the Tuna!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat1981(England)
    And with marine mammals giving birth to their young, they would need a certain amount of maternal care, which would mean that they would have some social skills and therefor a higher level of intelligence then an average 'fish'.

    Presumably.
    Well, some fish have parental care as well. Some fish are even biparental, where both the male and the female contribute to caring for the young for a certain amount of time after they hatch. These fish are still far below dolphins in intelligence, so increased parental investment isn't enough to explain why dolphins are that much smarter.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by Cat1981(England)
    And with marine mammals giving birth to their young, they would need a certain amount of maternal care, which would mean that they would have some social skills and therefor a higher level of intelligence then an average 'fish'.

    Presumably.
    Well, some fish have parental care as well. Some fish are even biparental, where both the male and the female contribute to caring for the young for a certain amount of time after they hatch. These fish are still far below dolphins in intelligence, so increased parental investment isn't enough to explain why dolphins are that much smarter.
    It would then be interesting to see what happens if some are deprived of care, what then do they do? It may reflect another topic we've discussed. Maybe there is another eqivalent to them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by svwillmer
    It would then be interesting to see what happens if some are deprived of care, what then do they do? It may reflect another topic we've discussed. Maybe there is another eqivalent to them.
    You mean, the fish young? The parents do little more than protect them from predators (which is not always an easy job!). If they were deprived of care, they'd probably just get eaten, lol.

    You aren't trying to relate this to the child deprivation = atheism thing, are you? No animals other than humans have the intellectual capacity to conceptualize the existence of a supernatural being, let alone a belief system like religion. It's not a comparison you can make.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Well, some fish have parental care as well. Some fish are even biparental, where both the male and the female contribute to caring for the young for a certain amount of time after they hatch. These fish are still far below dolphins in intelligence, so increased parental investment isn't enough to explain why dolphins are that much smarter.
    Well then i can't think of any other reason why 'fish' are less-intelligent then an average land animal or marine mammal. They can also use team work whilst hunting as well as being biparental as you mentioned. No idea.
    Eat Dolphin, save the Tuna!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat1981(England)
    Well then i can't think of any other reason why 'fish' are less-intelligent then an average land animal or marine mammal. They can also use team work whilst hunting as well as being biparental as you mentioned. No idea.
    It's not so much that fish are less intelligent than the average land animal. Remember, land animals include mostly bugs and a lot of relatively "stupid" vertebrates as well. As a group, however, fish don't have any remarkably intelligent members, which mammals and reptiles do. But the same could be said of insects, since even though they can form complex colonies, no individual bug is really that smart.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by svwillmer
    It would then be interesting to see what happens if some are deprived of care, what then do they do? It may reflect another topic we've discussed. Maybe there is another eqivalent to them.
    You mean, the fish young? The parents do little more than protect them from predators (which is not always an easy job!). If they were deprived of care, they'd probably just get eaten, lol.

    You aren't trying to relate this to the child deprivation = atheism thing, are you? No animals other than humans have the intellectual capacity to conceptualize the existence of a supernatural being, let alone a belief system like religion. It's not a comparison you can make.
    No I mean that the actual way of going about their lives in a different way. Why would you think I meant they thought of the existence of God? How silly
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    Intelligence is not a prerequisite for survival.

    A nile crocodile easily gobbles up a zebra that is much smarter.

    All the larger brain did was to provide for a tastier snack. Brains are powerfood.

    Brains also consume huge quantities of energy.

    The shrew which has almost the body plan of the first 'advanced' (Darwin forgive me for using advanced) mammals has rather a large brain.

    And all it does is eat to feed the brain.

    Focusing on the brain is a human thing to do. We have a large one hence we think it is somehow fancy or important to have a large one.

    It actually doesn't matter at all.

    The only thing that matters is whether you make offspring that makes offspring.

    Hence many organisms are still around that have no brain whatsoever. imagine that.

    The tunicates are a split off of the ancestor of fish. They start their life as a free swimming larvae that looks like a tadpole. And then it settles on a rock and eats up its own brain and becomes a filterfeeder.

    the smart thing to do really.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    I've been slightly browsing the literature a bit on Fish intelligence and it seems they might be smarter than normally thought. This doesn't mean of course that they are smarter than a dolphin of course, but they are capable of complex social interactions and interpretations, and other complex behavioural patterns.


    For instance a shoal of fish are capable to interpret the threat level of a predator by visual cues from the fish that have actual seen the predator (Brown and Leland 2003).

    Do they learn these behaviours?

    Guppies can teach other guppies to swim into a safe compartment in electric shock experiments (brown and leland).

    etc. More examples in the reference.

    What is clear is that fish are capable of more complex learned behaviour than most people think.

    If you browse through aquarium sites you will see that people clearly distinguish between dumb and smart fishes. Certain species do stand out. Others are dumb as a brick, albeit a brick that can swim.

    What's the truth?

    The truth is that fish are probably smarter than we think they are.

    reference
    http://www.geocities.com/culumbrown/...andFAF2003.pdf
    This fish researcher has more accessible articles on his homepage:
    http://www.geocities.com/culumbrown/
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat1981(England)
    It seems in the oceans all you need is an evolutionary smart idea or a big row of teeth and an arsehole.
    Do you mean Tony Blair was a fish?
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  19. #18  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Cat1981(England)
    It seems in the oceans all you need is an evolutionary smart idea or a big row of teeth and an arsehole.
    Do you mean Tony Blair was a fish?
    I was looking for a smart fish.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    There's almost 30,000 species of fish. One can't comment on how intelligent 'a fish' is. They are as different from each other as a shrew and a blue whale. they have and have had many types of strategies for successfully passing on their genetic material for over 400 million years.

    Evolution is not a vector towards an end but a process. Intelligence is only one strategy among many. No organism is going to develop human-like intelligence for the sake of it . The 'goal' is not intelligence but propagation of genetic material. Greater intelligence has been a strategy for humans, other primates and some other organisms.....it has nothing to do with some trophy at the end of the evolutionary line.
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  21. #20  
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    David Cameron then Or is he just a dumb shark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyologist
    There's almost 30,000 species of fish. One can't comment on how intelligent 'a fish' is. They are as different from each other as a shrew and a blue whale. they have and have had many types of strategies for successfully passing on their genetic material for over 400 million years.

    Evolution is not a vector towards an end but a process. Intelligence is only one strategy among many. No organism is going to develop human-like intelligence for the sake of it . The 'goal' is not intelligence but propagation of genetic material. Greater intelligence has been a strategy for humans, other primates and some other organisms.....it has nothing to do with some trophy at the end of the evolutionary line.
    The original question implies the underlying assumption: intelligence allows inhabiting a particular niche. There are examples of intelligent species within many phyla, which may support this assumption. (Just as there are examples of flight in many phyla, as flight allows exploitation of a new niche.)

    It is passingly interesting that no fish is obviously intelligent. As you point out, intelligence is not the prize of evolution, but it is intriguing to think about aquatic environments and wonder why the same type of obvious inelligence hasn't seemed to manifest among fish as it has among other phyla (Spuriousmonkey's excellent examples notwithstanding.....)

    Cheer,
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    [

    It is passingly interesting that no fish is obviously intelligent. As you point out, intelligence is not the prize of evolution, but it is intriguing to think about aquatic environments and wonder why the same type of obvious inelligence hasn't seemed to manifest among fish as it has among other phyla (Spuriousmonkey's excellent examples notwithstanding.....)

    Cheer,
    FR
    Intelligence has evolved among a fish's phylum...one intelligent species in that phylum is discussing this issue on this forum. There are many phyla in animalia....humans and fish belong to the same phylum, chordata (or sometimes referred to as vertebrata).
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    Yes, my bad, too much time amongst the microbes.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical


    Yes, my bad, too much time amongst the microbes.....
    And I spend to much time in paleo taxonomy and have become a pedantic old fossil myself. :wink:

    an aside: the word 'fish' in itself is a bit of a nebulous concept. Depending on the taxonomy there are 3 'classes' equivalent to mammalia among fish...jawless fish, bony fish and elasmobrach (sharks and kin). Otherwise stated, a Goldfish may be no more more related to a Great White shark than we humans are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyologist
    Quote Originally Posted by free radical


    Yes, my bad, too much time amongst the microbes.....
    And I spend to much time in paleo taxonomy and have become a pedantic old fossil myself. :wink:

    an aside: the word 'fish' in itself is a bit of a nebulous concept. Depending on the taxonomy there are 3 'classes' equivalent to mammalia among fish...jawless fish, bony fish and elasmobrach (sharks and kin). Otherwise stated, a Goldfish may be no more more related to a Great White shark than we humans are.
    Well put. The 'bony fish' produced humans from their midst. It's only (as I pointed out earlier) the ray fins about whom we can speak in this manner.

    There's no point at all lumping sharks or lampreys with guppies in this context, since humans come between.

    cheer

    shanks
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