JAN 01, 2016 8:15 PM PST

Fish May Have Emotions and a Consciousness

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Although it’s speculated that every animal has some sort of consciousness, certain animals are thought to be limited in their emotional abilities. Consciousness and emotions have been well-documented in different kinds of animals, such as mammals, birds, and even a variety of reptiles.
 
For the first time, however, emotions have been documented in fish by tracking a phenomenon known as emotional fever, which is a state where the body temperature can change a couple of degrees in certain situations as the body becomes more alert to certain senses.
 

Zebra fish were among the swimming creatures used in the experiment.


It has never been documented in fish before, but in a recent study involving a group of 72 zebra fish performed by researchers from the University of Barcelona, University of Stirling, and University of Bristol, it has been found that when placed in stressful situations, even fish display qualities of emotional fever, which illustrates that fish too feel emotions depending on the situation at hand.
 
The 72 zebra fish were separated into two groups of 36 – a control group and a test group. The control group were allowed to roam freely in a comfortable tank of water measured at 28º Celsius, while the test group were trapped inside a net in waters of 27º Celsius for 15 minutes before being allowed to roam freely through the tank of water, which ranged from 18º Celsius to 35º Celsius.
 
The fish that were subjected to the stressful net situation were found swimming away from the 27º Celsius region of the water to search for regions of higher temperatures, indicating that they were attempting to increase their body temperature by up to 4º Celsius and were displaying signs of emotional fever.
 
Because fish were once thought to be simple creatures without any kind of consciousness or emotional senses, this is a breakthrough in the understanding of fish’s minds. It shows that despite the simplicity of their brains, they might just be able to experience feelings after all.

Source: The Royal Society Publishing

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
DEC 29, 2020
Plants & Animals
Unique Plumage Found on a Dinosaur Fossil
DEC 29, 2020
Unique Plumage Found on a Dinosaur Fossil
Many species of birds display spectacular patterns and colors in their feathers. Now scientists have found that these fe ...
JAN 13, 2021
Plants & Animals
Dwarf Giraffes Observed for the First Time Ever
JAN 13, 2021
Dwarf Giraffes Observed for the First Time Ever
The name “dwarf giraffe” certainly seems like an oxymoron, which is why scientists were shocked to observe t ...
FEB 10, 2021
Plants & Animals
Is the Nano-Chameleon the World's Smallest Reptile Species?
FEB 10, 2021
Is the Nano-Chameleon the World's Smallest Reptile Species?
Say “hello!” to the nano-chameleon, a top contender for the world’s smallest reptile. According to the ...
FEB 23, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Plants May be Slow, But They Twist and Twirl
FEB 23, 2021
Plants May be Slow, But They Twist and Twirl
Plant roots can drill down into the soil, new work has shown. While it happens too slowly for us to see, time-lapse phot ...
MAR 26, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Iconic Bald Eagles are Thriving
MAR 26, 2021
Iconic Bald Eagles are Thriving
Once dangerously on the brink of extinction, bald eagle populations are thriving throughout the lower 48 states of the U ...
MAR 31, 2021
Plants & Animals
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
MAR 31, 2021
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
Beachgoers are certainly not fond of jellyfish in the water, but seeing hundreds of them wash ashore is an interesting a ...
Loading Comments...