The red fish – carp, or goldfish – is able to drive a car. The conclusion from a team of Israeli researchers, in a study that evaluated the ability of this species to adapt and orient itself in a terrestrial environment.
Researchers at Ben-Gurion University, located in the Negev desert, have created a device that allows the red fish to move while swimming in an aquarium placed on a motorized cart. The study was published in the journal Behavioral Brain Research.
The researchers installed cameras to track the fish’s movement and linked them to a computer that steered the vehicle.
When the fish went to the front of the aquarium, the car moved forward. When the fish stayed behind, the car remained stationary, say the researchers, who posted a video of this “fish-controlled car.”
To complete the investigation, the scientists placed a target on the outside of the vehicle. When the fish reached the target, it received 0.002 grams of food pellets in its aquarium as a reward.
After a few days, the fish were able to hit the target, without getting lost, “regardless of the starting point” and “avoiding dead-end streets,” the study explains.
The research concludes that the red fish has “the ability to impart spatial representation and navigation capabilities to a terrestrial environment completely different from its own”.
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