I was talking on the phone to my son yesterday and happened to be sitting in front of the aquarium so I told him about my strange little fish.
I have to give you a little background information first.
I bought six fish from Walmart a few months ago because my big fish died and the tank was left with only two small Mollies. I bought some more mollies and a couple of platies. I now have fifteen fish in the tank- three sets of babies of various sizes! Yes, we have a very entertaining fish nursery and apparently will have more babies soon. I think that I mentioned setting up my other tank and transferring some babies to it.
Okay…back to strange fish. Out of all the little fish swimming around ONE chooses to “sit” on the leaf of one of the artificial plants. He is there most of the time. He will move if another fish swims near, or if I walk too close to the tank, but he will immediately return. He apparently doesn’t sleep there because when I turn on the light in the morning he isn’t there. He resumes his position a few minutes after eating breakfast. The other babies hide in the plants, and even rest on them for brief seconds occasionally. He is the only one who has staked his claim on a specific leaf and returns to it again and again. Strange but true.
And to me it is yet another example that even in nature, in a group of animals we think of as “low” on the intelligence scale, there are differences in instinctive and/or perhaps learned behavior.
Just to throw out one more quick example: five raccoons routinely eat in our yard each night. ONE literally stands out from the rest because he/she eats standing up. The others walk around nibbling food and looking for more. But one picks up a piece of dog food, stands, looks around, then eats. Scouting danger for the others? No…because he/she does it even when the others are not around.
Yes, I spend a LOT of my time thinking about the behavior of children and animals.
If this seems like a strange post I make no apologies. You should have already concluded by now that I am strange!