[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDr2HfPWeJ4&w=420&h=315]

New Research suggests that fish are capable of using tools. The study was led by Sandie Millot, at the University of Liege. The researchers used 56 Atlantic Cod in a feeding machine, which was built to allow food to be dispensed using a string. All of the fish were marked with a tag above their dorsal fin, this fact becomes of importance later in the study. When the fish would pull on the string, food would be released. Not surprisingly, 48 of the 56 were able to do this, as most animals are capable of associative learning where by the behavior of pulling the string became associated with the food. Things became interesting later in the study, when fish discovered they could release the food using the tags. Researchers speculate the fish learned this behavior by accident, when the fish were swimming by the string, and their tags became caught. The fish then began to swim harder to become free of the string, and by pull free of the string, the food released. What is interesting is that after this exercise, the fish began intentionally using their tags to release the food, as opposed to initially when they used their mouths to pull the string. The study brings interesting insight into the potential capability of fish. MORE

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