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Friday, April 8, 2011

The Five Senses For Fish

How do fish see? hear? smell? touch? feel?
Many people may own fish but don't know the answer to these questions. I wanted to know these answers myself so I began my quest looking through books and the internet. Here's what I found out:
Sight: Most fish have the ability to see but the way that they see is different from humans. Fish are able to focus on two things/directions at once. This type of vision is known as monocular vision. Because fish have monocular vision, they are unable to focus on any one particular thing.
When fish sleep, they sleep with their eyes open since they don't have any eyelids.
Fish also can't see more than a foot away from where they are. Even though they can't see very far, they are able to rotate their eyes 360°.
Tip: It's a good idea to turn on the room lights in a dark room before turning on the aquarium light. By doing this you will reduce the stress your fish experience while their little fishie eyes adjust to the changing light.
Sound: Yes, fish can hear. Fish don't hear things like you or I do but they do hear the vibrations in the water. It is believed that the swim bladder plays a role in helping the fish hear sound.
Smell: Fish use their sense of smell to hunt for their food. Unlike like humans, fish have their respiratory and sense of smell separate from each other so they aren't necessarily "breathing in" the smells.
Taste: Fish have taste buds but when it comes to eating, their sense of taste is short lived. Their taste buds only work for a very short amount of time. This is a possible reason as to why fish are always looking for food since they don't "taste" all the food they eat.
Feel: There is a very strong debate on whether or not fish can feel pain. To this day, there isn't a solid answer but in my opinion fish can feel pain. Perhaps fish don't experience pain the way a human does, but I believe that a fish can experience enough pain for it to alter the way a fish behaves.

Fish are amazing creatures. I find my fish to have personalities that can be strange at times but they can be quite entertaining. I also believe that they are very smart; maybe not smarter than humans but fish are very smart in their own little way.