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Goldfish World Cup

By Leonard Ho - Posted Jun 23, 2014 09:00 AM
To piggyback on last friday's article about fish intelligence, we present Comet, a goldfish that has been trained to play football (both kinds), basketball, swim through hoops, swim through a slalom course, and other neat tricks.
Goldfish World Cup

Swimming through a hoop!

Scientists are learning more each day about fish's surprising mental capacity including multiple documentation of tool use.  Fish can also be trained to do tricks people normally assume only mammals and birds can learn.  Take, for example, Comet the goldfish.  Granted, the sort of leaning exhibited in the video below is nothing more than operant conditioning via positive reinforcement; Comet really isn't playing soccer but rather learning anthropomorphic behavior that earns it food. However, this is no different than how most animals (including dogs) are trained.

R2 Fish School (created by the owner of Comet) actually sells a goldfish training kit for aquarist who are interested in teaching their goldfish these tricks.  To prove Comet isn't a special genius-level one-of-a-kind, here is another (really cute) Shukin goldfish trained to do similar tricks using R2 Fish School.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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