An Amazing Little Fish

     I just learned a little bit about an amazing fish called the gobiid.  What I read about the little ‘goby’ in David Brooks’ s book THE SOCIAL ANIMAL was so incredible, I went online to learn more.  To my disappointment, however, I found very little basic information about this little fish.  But I will share below what David Brooks had to say about the gobiid:

     “This is a little fish that lives in shallow water.  At low tide, its habitat is reduced to little pools and puddles.  Yet the gobiid fish jump with great accuracy over rocks and dry ridges from pool to pool.  How do they do it?  They can’t scope out the dry patches before they jump, or see where the next pool is.  If you put a little gobiid fish in an unfamiliar habitat, it won’t jump at all.

     “What happens is that during high tide the gobiid fish wander around absorbing the landscape and storing maps in their heads.  Then when the tide is low, they have a mental map of the landscape, and they unconsciously know what ridges will be dry at low tide and what hollows will be full of water.”–David Brooks, THE SOCIAL ANIMAL

     I find it amazing that such a tiny fish (some gobiids are no longer than 4 centimeters) can do such complex mental processing.  We humans assume that our large brains are so much more capable than the smaller brains of so many other animals.  We so often underestimate the complex abilities possessed by many small animals, abilities we humans can barely imagine.–April Moore

a gobiid fish

a gobiid fish

One Response to “An Amazing Little Fish”

  1. Todd Says:

    Hi April, Yes, amazing. And how about the “dance of the bees” in telling about nectar sources? Or elephants finding water? There’s a lot of know-how in instinct. How does it work? Another story… Todd

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