Is This True, Not Or Just A Crock (#18)

goldy-main_full1During the Roman Empire, a group of large carp like fish known as genus Barbus were domesticated in marble tanks under the bed of guests invited to lavish Roman Orgies  signifying their fascination with underwater life that led to aquariums. But, it wasn’t known until much later that goldfish like others in the Carp family are social animals who frequently become bored with their environment when left alone without other fish to interact. For them, a stark, un-embellished bowl of water just wont do because their inclination when happy is to be curious. In fact this quality is believed to have encouraged the development of elaborate fish tank rock formations, miniature sunken ships and the R2 Fish Training Kit. which made Albert the goldfish pictured above a member of the Guinness Book Of Records as the fish with the largest repertoire of tricks of any aquatic vertebrate with scales.

6a00d8341bf67c53ef011570715d27970b-320piAccording to historical records, The concept of fish school, not to be confused with a school of fish was first founded by Dean and Kyle Pomerleau in 2004. Kyle who was seven years old at the time won two common goldfish at a school fair spending hours watching them for several weeks. He suspected that there was more going on in their brains then most people were willing to give them credit for. On a whim, he and his father decided to see if it was possible to train fish to do tricks using techniques frequently associated with  training dogs, cats, and circus animals.

In an attempt to give fish their just due as responsive pets rather than some kind of fish-bowl3decoration at risk for being flushed down the toilet or eaten by a house cat, their scientific investigation led to the Fish School Training Manual, initially written in French. The basic principles set forth in the pamphlet are positive reinforcement and shaping which uses the fish’s innate curiosity to encourage behavior modification. After all, Kyle  claimed,  “Fish have often been served in various cultures as religious symbols, deities and the subject of art, books and films such as The Incredible Mr. Limpit,” a 1964 live action/animated film by Warner Brothers about a human who mysteriously turns into a talking fish and helps the US Navy defeat the Nazis using his “thrum,” an intense  noise that disrupts underwater  instruments and weapons long before Finding Nemo won the Oscar as best animated feature in 2005.