Fish Can Recognize Faces, According to New Study

Even with the advancement of today’s technology, there are still a lot of discoveries taking place in the past few years. Several studies have shown that we our world still has a lot to offer for its children to improve our knowledge and understand more the planet that we live in.

A discovery has been released when the scientists learned that fish can also recognize facial features. The said trait is seen with a tropical fish named archer fish.

fish1This particular specie is a tropical fish that shoots jet of water to catch its prey above the water. in the tests that have been conducted by researchers from University of Queensland in Australia and University of Oxford in United Kingdom, the archer fish is trained to shoot one of the two pictures presented to it. As the experiment progresses, the researchers are now showing the learned face together with new set of faces and facial features. Surprisingly, the fish is able to choose the learned face with high accuracy of 86%.

The results have astonished the researchers as they previously thought that facial recognition requires a larger and complex brain just like the primates. Also, fishes do not have the part of the brains in humans that process facial recognition. In addition to their discovery, the fishes are able to recognize the learned face even though the researchers have changed several factors that made it more difficult to recognize a face, like color, head shape, etc.,

After observing the results of their experiment, the researchers said the fish’s behavior shows that a complex brain is not necessarily needed to recognize facial features but humans need it for quickly recognizing a large number of faces in a given time or place.

fish2According to Dr. Cait Newport of Marie Curie Research Fellow in the Department of Zoology at Oxford University, “Fish have a simpler brain than humans and entirely lack the section of the brain that humans use for recognizing faces. Despite this, many fish demonstrate impressive visual behaviors and therefore make the perfect subjects to test whether simple brains can complete complicated tasks.”

Though facial recognition has been observed in the animals before like the birds, this discovery still astonished the researchers as birds actually have a neocortex-like part in their brains which processes the facial recognition. Neocortex is one of the major parts of the brain that vertebrates do not have. Also, the researchers believe that fish’s ability did not come from evolutionary process.