Question: Why do goldfish only have a very short memory span, while us (humans) remember things from when we were small... And are animals smarter than humans? If so (I'm guessing is true,) what animal's smartest? In what ways?

  1. A few years ago a 15 year old from Adelaide busted this myth in a school science experiment! He used a piece of red lego in their tank to indicate when they were going to be fed, then he removed the lego for a few weeks. Once he put it back in the tank, the fish remembered and swam towards it ready to be fed – pretty amazing hey!

    The chimpanzee is generally regarded as the smartest non-human animal. They make tools, use language, cooperate in groups and form complex social groups and ideas. This advanced cognitive function is usually what we think of as ‘smartness’. But there are certain things that animals can do that humans could never achieve but these are usually related to better senses or other specially adapted qualities.


  2. Yes this is definitely a myth!! Even just watching my fish – much like the experiment that Renee described they can remember when it’s feeding time, and have learnt that when I turn on the tank light in the morning it’s breakfast time. If they only had 3 second memories, this would certainly not happen!

    Many animals have shown the ability to problem solve and remember things. But I agree with Renee – animals have different abilities to us, and so are smart in other ways. It’s emerged in recent years that animal are very smart, and can solve problems, work together and interact in ways we’ve previously never realised!

    And I also agree with Renee chimps are really smart! There’s even studies where they’ve been able to communicate with people using sign language and solve maths problems.

    Another really smart animal is a crow. This bird can use tools and problem solve. There’s some really neat videos on youtube of crows problem solving. Here’s one where a crow drops nuts on a road and waits for a car run over it to break the nut, then it waits for a red light to collect the now ready to eat nut without getting run over:


  3. Size matters when it comes to brains! See

    Chimps can use tools, communicate, collaborate so they are the, or one of the, most intelligent animals.




  1. True that… I agree, my fish always go to one side of the fish tank in the morning, the side i feed them…

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