First Ever Pictures of a Fish Using Tools!

fish with toolPhoto: Scott GardnerAll images courtesy of National Geographic Daily News Gallery

At first, we thought only humans could use tools and then we discovered chimpanzees and octopus could but now…fish can. These are the first images ever of a wild fish using a tool. In the picture above, a black spot tusk fish is carrying a large clam or cockle over to the rock.

Below you can see the result after a few repeated bashes. This finding is so remarkable because any previous examples of fish using a tool were in the lab where there was ample impetus for them to complete a task.

fish with toolPhoto: Scott Gardner

It took since 2006 to publish this research in the journal Coral Reef because of an argument between scientists on whether this was actually tool use since the fish didn’t pick up the tool and manipulate it, rather manipulated the clam on the tool.

Scott Gardner who snapped the images explains it the other way: “We argue that tusk fish have a different type of intelligence that’s evolved for their specific environment… They don’t have hands, and they have resistance in the water, so you can’t expect them to use a tool the way a primate would.”

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