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Sea Kittens Are Smart Cookies

Written by PETA | October 20, 2009

Those of you who still need convincing that fish sea kittens are smarter than a 5-year-old should check out today’s New York Times. Molecular biologist and geneticist Sean B. Carroll writes about recent studies indicating that fish who inhabit coral reefs can learn to differentiate between targets marked with different designs and colors in order to obtain food. Other studies of coral-reef fish in their natural habitat show that fish are more drawn to “dummies” that closely resemble beneficial “cleaner fish” than to dummies with similar coloring but different markings.


animal-world / CC


If you can stand the cuteness, check out this photo of a teeny-tiny damselfish poking a target marked with an asterisk with his (or her) teeny-tiny nose.

Of course, it comes as no surprise to us here at Sea Kitten Central that fish are smart cookies. Previous studies have shown that fish have long-term memories and can learn to avoid nets by watching what other fish do. “[T]hey are capable of learning quickly,” says Dr. Chris Glass, director of marine conservation at the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences in Massachusetts. Dr. Phil Gee, a psychologist at the University of Plymouth in the U.K., says that fish can even tell what time of day it is: Dr. Gee trained fish to collect food by pressing a lever at specific times.

Still not convinced? You leave me no choice but to unleash … goldfish soccer.

Written by Alisa Mullins

Commenting is closed.
  • tom sawyer says:

    omg i cannot blieve u said fish were smarter than 5yrolds

  • Kurt K says:

    Chris You’re right but fish will swallow another fish whole for food. It must suck to get digested whilst you are still alive. In a sharks case they will bite in and shake side to side tearing huge chunks of flesh off an unsuspecting prey victim. Fish are so sweet!

  • Chris says:

    It really make me question the intelligence of people. Fish don’t build bombs and they don’t destroy their surrondings. If people are really the superior species how are we not able to live in harmony with other species. They eat for survivial and you’ll never see a fish brutally another animal for the sake of “fashion”.

  • simara says:

    Fish are extraordinary and intriguing as well as beautiful. I think it’s ridiculous to rename them another name that is attached to another animal in order to cultivate compassion for them. That would be like if during the height of segregation in America some one had said “think of people of color as dark white people each race each species has beautiful and unique qualities the things we have in common are that we all feel we can form bonds and deserve to be respected as far as our rights to a life free of torture neglect and cruelty. I also feel it is so ignorant and arrogant of humans to judge the intellect of another species according to a human intellect. We can only assume what we claim to know as far as the abilities of another species. I have no doubt that there is an entire universe of an intellect and way of living that is beyond our grasp and understanding that other species posses. and speaking of this “amazing human intellect” that most of us tend to hold all other species up to what’s so intelligent about being a race that rarely shows compassion for ourselves each other and all other specieswhat’s so intelligent about destroying the environment annihilating and persecuting hundreds of thousands of humans in the Holocaust and South Africa’s Apartheid which are only two of many human mass murders what is so intelligent about day to day lying cheating self destructive human behavior or daily racism and sexism? and those are just showcasing some of the the crimes against our own species there has been a life long world wide abuse of animals since the dawn of time. So I get disgusted when humans attempt to proclaim the level of intelligence of a far more compassionate noble unified and evolved species by measuring what some claim their intelligence is up to the masses of humans. not to say all humans are badthere are many creations and things humans have done that are beautiful but a human who has humanity is RARE.Unlike non humans who anyone who has spent any quality time with one would see that most animals posses more humanity than most humans.Non humans do not care how fat you are or rich you are they do not build nuclear warfare or gossip and they have never caused nearly as much pain and suffering to us the human race as we have to them let alone their fellow species .It’s important to stop trying to make everyone something we can relate to by trying to make them seem more like us or something or some one we already find “cute” and “acceptable” and instead appreciate them for their unique beauty as well as respect that being’s life.

  • liza amado says:

    please stop this torture!!!!

  • Brien Comerford says:

    Fishing is literally mankind leaving his terrestrial ecosystem to ivade other species marine ecosystems to kill and massacre billions of innocent sentient beings. Fishing also decimates aquatic biodiversity.

  • Jacob says:

    Cool. I hear a lot of people who bear with me on normal animal rights topics but are still convinced that sea kittens are simply nonsentient “feeder animals.” Uh does anyone know how many predators tuna have?

  • vegancoin says:

    that’s precious.