Some Fish Can Recognize Human Faces, Scientists Find

By Bahr Gholipour for The Huffington Post

Toddler underwater looking at a single goldfish

Even tiny brains can accomplish complex tasks.

Scientists have found that archerfish (a species of tropical fish) can learn to recognize human faces with striking accuracy. The finding, reported Tuesday in Scientific Reports, adds fish to list of animals, including birds that are capable of pulling off the visual task. Recognizing faces requires such sophisticated cognitive function that it was previously attributed to only humans and other primates with large brains.

“Being able to distinguish between a large number of human faces is a surprisingly difficult task, mainly due to the fact that all human faces share the same basic features,” Cait Newport of Oxford University said in a statement. “All faces have two eyes above a nose and mouth, therefore to tell people apart we must be able to identify subtle differences in their features.”

Newport told CNN that if the archerfish can tell humans apart, it’s possible that other fish can too.

Read more here.

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