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Goldfish do not have three second memories


List of animal myths.

Goldfish do not have three second memories

The belief that goldfish have a memory span of only three seconds is among a series of myths which have been exposed by the animal charity the PDSA.

Widely held ideas about dogs only being able to see in black and white or that purring means that a cat is content are also misconceptions, according to the group.

Even the assumption that a dog wagging its tail shows that it is happy is not necessarily true, according to research.

The charity – originally known as the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals – has compiled a list of some of the most common urban myths about pets believing that owners may be inadvertently harming them because of misinformation.

Among potentially dangerous misconceptions is the idea that dogs will only eat as much as they need, meaning that it should not be possible to overfeed them

In fact, being descended from wolves, they have a natural tendency to gorge, not knowing where their next meal is coming from, leaving them open to dangerous obesity if overfed.

Similarly the convention that rabbits should always be given carrots or that cats should be given milk are also potentially harmful, according to the veterinary charity.

The notion of “dog breath” is also exposed as a myth. Rather than being normal for a dog, foul smelling breath could be a sign of illness, the PDSA warned.

The belief that rabbits make ideal cagemates for guinea pigs has also been challenged by the group, which warned that the larger animal sometimes bullies it smaller neighbour.

It drew on a series of research projects to challenge deeply held misconceptions about pets.

The idea that goldfish have a memory span of only a few seconds was challenged by a study which found they remember to avoid an area of their tank associated with tiny electronic shocks for at least 24 hours.

Meanwhile tests involving food rewards have shown that dogs can distinguish blue, grey and yellow objects rather than seeing only in black and white.


May 5, 2009 - Posted by | Animals, Blogroll, Entertainement, Funny, nature

1 Comment »

  1. Maybe there should be an * next to the gorging…our golden retriever will slop down peanut butter and yogurt to her hearts content – hungry or not. But give her broccoli and lettuce after she hasn’t eaten for three days and she’ll just stare at you like, “I’m hungry but not THAT hungry.”

    Comment by Jessica | May 5, 2009

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