African Cichlid fish have a memory span of up to twelve days, a new study has shown. Researchers trained the fish to go to one end of a tank for food before they then rested them for 12 days. When the fish were returned to the tank they spent more time in the area they associated with being fed, suggesting they remembered their training.
The result of the study adds further evidence of the complex mental abilities of fish. Findings are being presented at the Society for Experimental Biology's annual meeting. African cichlids, Labidochromis caeruleus, are a popular fish for aquarium owners. The scientists from MacEwan University, Canada, decided to study them because they are reported to be intelligent fish, showing complex behaviour such as aggression. Lead scientist, Dr Trevor Hamilton, said: "There are many anecdotes about how smart these fish are. Some people even believe that their cichlids watch television with them."