Saturday, June 20, 2009

Common Fish Species Has 'Human' Ability To Learn

A common species of fish which is found across Europe including the UK, called the nine-spined stickleback, could be the first animal shown to exhibit an important human social learning strategy. The sticklebacks can compare the behaviour of other sticklebacks with their own experience and make choices that lead to better food supplies, according to the study by St Andrews and Durham universities.

The researchers suggest these fish might have an unusually sophisticated social learning capability not yet found in other animals, called a 'hill-climbing' strategy.

This ability of picking the best quality food patch by comparing how successful others are at getting food from it against their personal experience has not been shown before in animals, say the scientists.


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