In The News : Fish, Bums & Why We Do What We Do

Scientists have discovered that fish give a shit.

Researchers at the University of Burgundy performed a series of tests on convict cichlids.  They allowed 33 female fish of the species, known for its monogamy, to choose a partner and then the cruel scientists separated them.

They put the female fish in tanks with a “positive” box filled with food and an empty “negative” box, distinguished by colour and tank position.  They then added an “ambiguous” box.

Scientists found that the females who were paired with their preferred partner were quicker to investigate the ambiguous box, but if a female had been separated from her preferred mate, it affected her responsiveness to the task.

François-Xavier Dechaume-Moncharmont, a behavioral ecologist who was one of the authors of the study, said that this showed a lot about the fish’s emotional state, their optimism or pessimism.

The study, researchers believe, may help us to understand love and emotional attachment better.  The guy with all the names said:

Many people consider love as a pollution to our decisions; when you are in love, you may behave a little strangely. But maybe this emotional response has some adaptive value. If it has evolved independently in many species, that could prove that maybe it has some adaptive value.

So while scientists have found that some questionable decisions come out of being in love, Russians have found that they can make a sport of two women slapping each other’s arses.

Apparently the competition was dominated by fitness models.  By all accounts the aim of the game is to slap your opponents bum so hard that they step forward or lose their balance.

And what gave rise to this questionable competition? It was in response to women being excluded from a men’s competition where they take turns to slap each other’s faces until they pass out.

Just as scientists are completing research to understand why we act like we do, some people step up to show sometimes the answer is simply “stupidity”.

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