Contrary to popular belief, the goldfish is not just a small fish that can be satisfied with a tiny bowl without any equipment, any decoration and which will spend its, supposedly, short life going around in circles. Let’s discover together about the goldfish memory.
A goldfish (Carassius Auratus) is a species of freshwater fish of the Cyprinidae family, a family that includes the vast majority of freshwater fish.
The goldfish’s memory is limited to a few seconds: right or wrong?
Perhaps you have already been told: “You have a memory like a goldfish! when for the umpteenth time you forgot to do your homework or tidy up your room? Well you can now answer: “In fact the goldfish has a very good memory! “. It is indeed a beautiful hoax!
Several experiments were performed to study the memory capacity of goldfish:
– in 1994, Philip Gee and his team successfully trained goldfish to push a lever to retrieve their food. This lever was functional every day at the same time for 4 weeks. The researchers then observed that the goldfish came to press the lever only during that hour and stopped as soon as the hour had passed. Philip Gee then explains: “If no food came out, they stopped activating the lever when the hour was up. This proves that they probably have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances, like any other small animals and birds. They are able to learn. »
– in 2011, a team of Israeli researchers trained fish to come for food when a sound was played. This training lasted 1 month. 55 days after this training period, they played the sound again and the fish rushed to retrieve their food. However, this memory is not eternal: 6 months after the end of training, the fish did not remember anything.
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Mike Webster, researcher at the University of St Andrews in Scotland explains:
“A lot of people think that goldfish have a memory that lasts 3 seconds. This is completely wrong! Fish are no more stupid than birds or even than many mammals (…). They can find their way through mazes, recognize other fish and learn lots of things! »
We have just seen that fish have a good memory. So where does the phrase “have a goldfish memory” come from? That’s a good question that unfortunately I can’t answer. Perhaps man invented this expression to relieve himself of guilt for putting a goldfish in a very small jar because for the record it takes at least 50 liters (13.2 gallons) of water for a goldfish to be in good living conditions. life ! Philip Gee thinks that this expression “probably comes from a joke”. If you have another explanation, do not hesitate to let us know!