According to a new study published in Nature Scientific Reports, fish look out for each other when searching for food.
Reporting on the study, Design & Trend notes that “rabbitfish have been observed by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Queensland guarding one another while their mate looks for food.”
Prior to this discovery, marine biologists had assumed fish weren’t capable of cooperating with other fish, a behavior requiring highly developed social skills.
"By showing that fishes, which are commonly considered to be cold, unsocial, and unintelligent, are capable of negotiating reciprocal co-operative systems, we provide evidence that co-operation may not be as exclusive as previously assumed," one of the researchers explains.
While the belief that fish possess only a three-second memory and don't feel pain is still ingrained in popular thought, evidence to the contrary is growing stronger all the time.
Just last year, an article by Vox.com detailed a multitude of fish abilities, including their abilities 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." There is even some evidence that they use tools.
Unfortunately, because fish aren't usually considered as cute, cuddly, or relatable as the species most people know and love, their suffering is more likely to go unnoticed.
You can take a stand against the blatant abuse of fish and other animals by leaving meat, dairy, and eggs off your plate. Click here for delicious fish-free recipes.