While many would think that recognizing human faces, many of which, we must admit, look quite similar (coming in similar patterns of two eyes, a nose, and a mouth), is an ability left only to our own kind, it seems that archerfish are proving us wrong. According to a new study from Scientific Report, these tropical fish can be trained to recognize human faces with stunning accuracy.
In the study, the individual fish were trained to spit water (a behavior they exhibit in order to stun prey) upon seeing particular faces in order to receive a treat. "The fish could... reliably distinguish among 18 faces, 86 percent of the time." These creatures may not possess the same brain structure that humans utilize when perceiving faces, yet they have proved once again that they are indeed smarter than we think.
All too often, we underestimate our fellow animals on this planet and because of this, we undervalue their lives. But fish too are incredible beings that fill a niche within their ecosystems that is absolutely priceless. So next time you think about eating a fish, or any other form of meat, perhaps think about choosing a more Earth-friendly alternative.
Written by Danika Lam