(EDMONTON, Alberta) — Since before anyone can remember, fish have been getting a bad rap, at least about their powers of recall. Anyone who’s ever owned a goldfish has joked about how they seem to have a memory span of literally 30 seconds and poof, what was that again?
However, Dr. Trevor Hamilton of MacEwan University in Edmonton says that people have gotten it all wrong about fish, or at least, about the aquarium species African Cichlids.
Because they demonstrate various complex behaviors, Hamilton and his team put the cichlids through a series of tests in which over three days, they were rewarded with food by swimming into a particular area.
The fish were then given 12 days off and when they returned, Hamilton says they demonstrated a preference for returning to zones where the food was located, proving they were capable of memory tasks and perhaps confirming, once and for all, that their powers of recall have been unfairly underestimated.
Then again, owners of African Cichlids have always known how smart they are, according to Hamilton, adding, “Some people even believe that their cichlids watch television with them.”
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Tamara Vaifanua, KSTU
Jennifer Graham, Deseret News