Scientists discover why fish look down when they swim

(ORDO NEWS) — An international team of researchers has answered the question of why the fish in your aquarium look down when swimming.

Try to imagine yourself as a fish for a second. Your state will be similar to that of sitting on a train that is not moving and looking at the one that has gone.

To orient in space, you need to find a fixed object outside, such as a platform. The same thing seems to happen with fish.

They are surrounded by too many stimuli that are confusing, because these animals are in a moving stream all their lives: water, particles in it and other inhabitants of water bodies are too mobile to be guided by them, determining their position in space.

To learn more about these processes, scientists from the Universities of California (USA), Tübingen (Germany), Toronto (Canada) and Kerala (India) studied the behavior of zebrafish in their natural habitat – in India.

The authors of the work placed a camera with a 360-degree view into the water. It was attached to a robotic arm that could move the equipment in any direction.

In this way, the scientists simulated what fish see underwater and modeled hypothetical scenarios in which a waterfowl moves in its natural environment.

They then made observations on live zebrafish in an aquarium surrounded by LEDs. When they lit up at its bottom, the fish swam, focusing on the lights.

Combining and analyzing this data with information about how movement signals are encoded in the brain of fish, the scientists concluded that they look down when they swim – both in the aquarium and in their natural habitat.

Researchers believe that this is due to orientation in space . After all, the bottom topography is motionless, so it is easiest to determine your location from it.

According to the authors of the article, their study will be useful in the development of artificial vision systems for robots.


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