Saturday, 7 June 2014

Blind cavefish are able to 'count'

By Zoe Gough
Reporter, BBC Nature

Blind cave-dwelling fish are able to discriminate between different quantities, scientists say.

The fish, found beneath the deserts in Somalia, learned to identify the greater of two groups of sticks placed at opposite ends of a tank.

Researchers say it is the first time non-visual numerical abilities have been shown in fish.

They do not know whether the sightless fish have inherited the skills or evolved them to find food.

The findings are published in The Journal of Experimental Biology.

Previous studies have shown that fish, mammals and birds can determine quantities and solve different numerical tasks.

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