5 Incredible Facts That Will Change How You See Fish

by Sarah Von Alt|
October 16, 2014

1. They Enjoy a Good Massage

In a study published in Nature Communications, scientists at the Lisbon University Institute in Portugal found that coral reef-dwelling surgeonfish like a good rub down.
The health benefits of touch, like massage therapy, have been demonstrated in a number of animals, including birds and primates, but this is the first study to show that friendly physical contact is also good for fish.

2. They Need Their Space

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University found that fish kept in small tanks become stressed and agitated,
just like other animals who are kept in overcrowded or cramped conditions.

3. They Learn From Each Other

An article by Vox.com highlights yet more scientific findings on the multitude of fish abilities, including their ability to “learn from each other, recognize other fish they’ve spent time with previously, know their place within fish social hierarchies, and remember complex spatial maps of their surroundings.”

4. They Use Tools

Science
magazine reports that fish have been observed to use tools. A blackspot tuskfish, for example, was caught on film using a rock to crack open a clam.
According to Dr. Culum Brown, a behavioral ecologist at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, tool use is probably quite common among fish, as it is in the rest of the animal kingdom.

5. They Can Suffer
A Mercy For Animals undercover investigation provides a startling glimpse into “Catfish Corner,” a fish slaughter facility in Mesquite, Texas.

Behind the operation’s jaunty name lies a grisly reality. From the water to the cutting table, fish are tortured: suffocated, skinned, and dismembered, all while conscious and feeling pain.
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