Monday, January 10, 2011

Counting Fish, the news story

"Fish as Good as College Students in Numbers Test" titles an article from National Geographic. The subtitle claiming fish count to 100 aroused skepticism in me.
There has been some discussion on the accuracy of science journalism. I address that here due to the amount of time I already dumped into this current investigation.

Of many, an initial curiosity relates the claims in the article to the actual findings and conclusion of the original scientific study. This tiny query, diligently pursued, led to a reasonable chronology of the story: do fish count?


Quantity discrimination in female mosquitofish.

Fish can count to four--but no higher

Do fish count? Spontaneous discrimination of quantity in female mosquitofish.

Use of Numbers by Fish

Fish Can Count, Study Finds

Unnatural Numb3r

Can angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) count? Discrimination between different shoal sizes follows Weber’s law

Ontogeny of Numerical Abilities in Fish

Large Number Discrimination by Mosquitofish

Fish as Good as College Students in Numbers Test