Photo of fish in the Haemulidae family
Fish Are Chattier Than Previously Thought
Once thought to be silent, fish turn out to produce a range of vocalizations—so polluting the oceans with noise could pose a danger to them.
ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, Laurent Olivier
Fish Are Chattier Than Previously Thought
Fish Are Chattier Than Previously Thought

Once thought to be silent, fish turn out to produce a range of vocalizations—so polluting the oceans with noise could pose a danger to them.

Once thought to be silent, fish turn out to produce a range of vocalizations—so polluting the oceans with noise could pose a danger to them.

ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, Laurent Olivier

fish behavior

goldfish in tank
Researchers Train Goldfish to “Drive”
Chloe Tenn | Jan 12, 2022
The Scientist spoke with cognitive neuroscientist Ronen Segev about how he taught goldfish to maneuver a moveable tank over land toward a visual target.
school of fish
Making Waves and Avoiding Beaks
Chloe Tenn | Dec 23, 2021
Moving collectively on the water surface could help protect schools of fish from being eaten by predatory birds.
view from below of hundreds of silver sardines swimming in the same direction
Famous South African Sardine Run Doesn’t Benefit Sardines: Study
Alex Billow | Oct 19, 2021
An analysis suggests that a commercially important mass migration of fish may have no real adaptive value.
ABOVE: A pair of Labroides dimidiatus cleaner fish cleaning a puffer fish
Cleaner Fish Alter Behavior if Partners Can See Them “Cheating”
Chloe Tenn | Oct 7, 2021
A study of feeding behavior suggests the fish feed differently in front of their partners—a behavioral feature also found in primates.
Five morphs of Poecilia parae—from top: melanzona yellow, melanzona blue, melanzona red, parae, immaculata—and a female (bottom) of the same species
Fish Species’ Y Chromosomes Diverged Even Without Recombination
Catherine Offord | Sep 1, 2021
Researchers discover surprisingly high levels of genetic diversity among the colorful male morphs of a freshwater fish.
a purple betta with white fins in a tank
My Daughter’s First Pet—the Next Big Model Organism?
Christie Wilcox | Jul 15, 2021
Bettas were likely the first fish welcomed into human homes. Now, scientists are welcoming them into the lab to learn how genes dictate their appearance and behavior.
a brown trout in the hands of a person wearing a green jacket
Trout Appear to Get Hooked on Meth
Christie Wilcox | Jul 6, 2021
After eight weeks of exposure to ecologically plausible levels of methamphetamines, the fish tended to prefer meth-laced water over water without the drug.
chromis coral reef ocean acidification global warming climate change
Study Refutes Findings that Acidification Affects Fish Behavior
Emma Yasinski | Jan 8, 2020
The new experiments use standardized methods and video recordings, but some researchers stand by earlier evidence that ocean pH influences coral reef fish’s response to predator cues.
Fish Biologist Victoria Braithwaite Dies
Catherine Offord | Oct 30, 2019
The Penn State University scientist was known for her work on fish’s perception of pain.
Flashlight fish
Image of the Day: Flashlight Fish
Nicoletta Lanese | Aug 21, 2019
The bioluminescent Anomalops katoptron can coordinate its schooling behavior after dark. 
fossil fossilized fish school coordinated collective behavior movement motion
Image of the Day: Fossilized Motion
Chia-Yi Hou | May 29, 2019
A fossil of a school of fish from the Eocene appears to represent coordinated collective movement.
munk's devil ray fisheries ocean conservation funny wildlife video gif
Image of the Day: Belly Flop
Chia-Yi Hou | May 23, 2019
Watch a Munk’s devil ray breach.
The Mirror Test Peers Into the Workings of Animal Minds
Carolyn Wilke | Feb 21, 2019
Nearly 50 years after its development, only a handful of creatures have passed the self-awareness exam. A new attempt with fish highlights a debate over the test’s use and meaning.
The Scientist’s Most Stunning Infographics of 2018
Jef Akst | Dec 21, 2018
From cellular self-digestion to the effects of exercise on the brain, our features editor picks her favorite art custom-made for the magazine.
Satiated Fish Swim at the Back of the Pack
Ashley Yeager | Jul 1, 2018
Digesting a big meal takes energy, forcing some minnows to swim in spots at the rear of a school.
Infographic: Swimming After Eating
Ashley Yeager | Jun 30, 2018
How a meal affects minnows' positions in their schools
Image of the Day: Performance Anxiety
Sukanya Charuchandra | Jun 21, 2018
In the presence of competition, archerfish become more hesitant but accurate shooters.
Plastic Pollutants Can Harm Fish
Tracy Vence | Jun 6, 2016
European perch larvae exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of polystyrene particles preferred to eat the microplastics in place of prey, according to a study.
Musical Scales
Kerry Grens | Sep 1, 2015
The quest to document an ancient sea creature reveals a cyclical chorus of fish songs.