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Fish can determine their social rank by observation alone, study finds

y figure out their odds of success by observation alone. From an evolutionary standpoint, transitive inference saves them valuable time and energy."

The results raise the possibility that fish brains might contain the rudimentary neuronal circuitry for transitive inference that appeared later in birds and mammals.

"Any animal that has evolved a social system that requires combat among males will have some kind of eavesdropping capability allowing them to surreptitiously draw inferences about their social rank," Fernald said. "Cognitive capacities that evolved in fish may contribute to human transitive inference, or perhaps this capacity evolved independently. The question remains unresolved."
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Source:Stanford University


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