Do Fish Have Brains? And How Intelligent Are They Really?

One of the most arguable topics among fish lovers is, “Do fish have brains?” If you notice the actions and behavior of fishes, you will find them to be pretty lovable. But just as humans actions are controlled by their brains, do fishes experience the same thing? Well, this is yet to be explored and once you go through the concerns of this article, you can definitely conclude whether or not fishes have brains.

Do Fish Have A Brain? – Yes

Do Fish Have A Brain?

If you want straight forward answer to the question, “Do fish have brains?” the answer would be YES. Researchers have found that the brain of the fish is among the most vital organs of their body which assist them in performing all the survival actions and taking decisions accordingly.

Although the brain of a fish is not as robust and effective as humans or any other animal, it certainly plays a role in deciding the intelligence of a fish.

A detailed discussion of whether fishes have brains

Do fishes perform their daily activities through actions that are prompted by their brain? Or are they nothing but a lump of flesh that moves and reacts to the different incidents and forces of life? As per the old myths about fishes, it was believed that they don’t have brains or even a proper memory.

However, if you take a close look at the actions and activities of a fish, you will clearly understand that they do have brains. If you have fish in your home aquarium, you can check out their ways of reacting and responding to various situations.

There are times when you will find the fishes assembling at the upper portion of the aquarium and some other times when they gather at the bottom portion of the tank in order to search for food. There are instances when you may also find the fish rushing closer to the glass of the tank and following you when you walk past the aquarium.

What is the reason behind that? It might be because the fishes are trying to gain your attention so that you give them some food. Now, if the fish lacked a brain or even concise memory, would they be able to remember that you are their constant feeder? Doesn’t this sound logical?

How does the brain of a fish function?

The function of a brain in a fish is in many ways similar to other animals. A brain is required for controlling necessary tasks like swimming, eating, reproduction, and also reacting to incidence and situations.

Fishes also possess reflex actions and this proves how efficient their brain function is. For instance, if fishes find a shadow from above, they will swim faster to survive.

Fishes are also seen to get back to their birthplace for the purpose of spawning. As long as eating is concerned, fishes are highly selective about what they eat. By mistake, if they put something wrong inside the mouth,  they will immediately spit it out.

The brain’s possessed by fishes also assist them in reacting to suffering, stress, and even pain. This is why you may find them running away from a potential threat whenever they find it approaching them.

All these above-mentioned activities are proof of the fact that fishes have something that keeps sending them signals to perform the right things according to the right situation. And if this is not a brain, then what is it?

What are the signs of Intelligence in a fish?

What is intelligence when you speak about it in a fish? Intelligence is the procedure that helps in storing memory, retrieving things, comparing and combining facts and different new information along with conceptual skills.

When the brain helps you with intelligence, this facilitates the process of learning.  the creature can then start making proper use of its brain on a daily life basis. So the main checkpoints of Intelligence are storing details collected through other organs, comparing and contrasting them with the previous information, retrieving it, combining it, processing it,  and learning something new.

But the question is how can you understand whether a fish is intelligent? Whenever you make a new decor for your aquarium to introduce a new fish to a previously existing fish, you’ll find some new changes occurring within the aquarium.

Once noticed closely, you’ll find that the fish in your aquarium will struggle hard to either test the new fish or the new accessory in order to receive a satisfactory answer about whether or not It is safe for them. Once they get this answer they will accept either the fish or the accessory.

Don’t you think that all such activities are proof of the fact that fishes have brains? There are several researchers who studied and concluded that fishes have brains and they might be larger than any other living animal or non-human creature.

In fact,  the most important part about fish’s intelligence is that it is way more intelligent than we perceive them to be. There are several cases where their cognitive powers even match up to or sometimes surpass that of the vertebrates. The long-term memory that is found in a fish lets it track all sorts of complex and social relationships. Thanks to their memory that they have a positive survival strategy in any environment you put them into.

What is the size of their brain?

The size of a fish’s brain is generally measured against the size and weight of its body. since a fish is usually of a smaller size, its brain will also be a smaller one according to the size of its body.

Which is the smartest fish?

Now that you are convinced by the fact that fishes have brains, you must be wondering which is the smartest fish.

Mantas are known to be the smartest fish species as they own the largest brains among the entire fish species. They have a huge rete, which is a collection of blood vessels and capillaries inside their brain. It is believed that this is the reason behind their smartness.

Moreover, their brains are such that keep them warm throughout even when they take a deep dive into the depth of the ocean.

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