Who knew that trout were so smart? A new study finds that coral trout actively seek hunting help from moray eels and collaborate to catch their prey, reports Wired:
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Certain forms of collaboration are supposed to be so sophisticated that only the smartest creatures—namely humans and perhaps a few close relatives—are capable of them. Yet this exclusive club has a new and unexpected member: a species of fish, a class of animals seldom associated with high-level intelligence.
As demonstrated in a series of experiments published today in Current Biology, coral trout not only solicit the help of moray eels when they hunt, but also pick their hunting partners wisely. They know when they need help, and quickly learn which eels best provide it. It’s a seemingly simple yet surprisingly sophisticated cognitive trick.
“Prior to our study, chimpanzees and humans were the only species known to possess both of these abilities,” said zoologist Alex Vail of England’s University of Cambridge.