Researchers have found evidence of self-awareness in the cleaner fishLabroides dimidiatus through use of the Mirror Self-Recognition (MSR)test.

The MSR test involves placing a mark on the animal’s body which can only beindirectly viewed through a mirror, and when seeing themselves in a mirror,they then attempt to touch or scrape the mark location.

The research, carried out by researchers at Osaka City University, found thatafter placing a brown mark on the throat area of 18 cleaner fish, 17 (94 percent) attempted to scrap their throats several times after swimming in frontof a mirror.

Professor Masanori Kohda from the Graduate School of Science, Osaka CityUniversity, explained the reason for using a brown mark.

“After looking at similar studies done on monkeys, pigs, dogs, cats, etc. thatclearly tested negative, we wondered if the reason these animals didn’t attendto the mark was because it didn’t represent something in their naturalenvironment they would be concerned about.”

Tagged: Fish, Science

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