We assumed fish didn’t care about each other. We were wrong.

Researchers have long thought fish were heartless and cold, incapable of the relationships mammals cultivate, but new research among fish in coral reefs suggests fish can work in long-term paired relationships.

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    A diver snorkels in the Great Barrier Reef off Australia’s Queensland state. Rabbitfishes from a coral reef have just been found to exhibit reciprocal cooperation, meaning they are the first fish known to take care of each other.
    Fish living in the vast network of coral reefs near Australia are already known to moviegoers for their devotion, thanks to the loving clownfish father-and-son pair in Pixar’s “Finding Nemo.”

But in reality, marine researchers have long thought fish were a bit cold and self-centered. A recent study published Friday indicates that their temperament is warming by a few degrees.

Clownfish like Marlin and Nemo do have a symbiotic relationship with anemones, according to PBS, but another inhabitant of the coral reef – the rabbitfish – shows the first-observed signs of what researchers call reciprocal cooperation. This means one fish helps another, and the effort, no matter how small, is somehow returned.

4 thoughts on “We assumed fish didn’t care about each other. We were wrong.

  1. Pingback: We assumed fish didn’t care about each other. We were wrong. | GarryRogers Nature Conservation and Science Fiction (#EcoSciFi)

  2. The Bluegill in my ponds defend their nests against predators. It seems that there are usually two defenders, but I haven’t watched enough to be sure. Reposted and scooped.

  3. Hello Exposing The Big Game folks, can you please change your website so that when we share on FB or other social media it does not automatically put the picture of the two grizzlies. would like it to post the photo that goes with the article…..thanks!

    • Hi, sorry, that’s my photo header for the site and it comes up automatically if I don’t include another image. If you want the photo that accompanies the article, share the link to the original article and it will come up instead.

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