Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Of Note: Fish Tricks

Today's Pittsburgh Post Gazette ran a story about a local man and his son who've trained their goldfish to do the limbo, play football and shoot a soccer ball into a net. The fish's owner, Dean Pomerleau, has written an e-book (called "Fish School Manual"), which he's selling through his website for the low price of $5.95, which means that you too can teach your fish to do tricks ("Money Back Guarantee"). His website is a must-see: It's got videos of fish playing soccer, dancing, you name it.

The website says, in big bold letters, "This is NOT a joke." That's right. Truth is, teaching fish to do tricks is nothing new. People have been training their goldfish for years: The first book on the subject was published in 1995, but people have been doing it far longer than that. When I was working on my story about fish medicine (and interviewing people who spend thousands of dollars taking their pet fish to the doctor), I met several people who'd taught their fish to dance, swim through hoops, swim little flips on command. As one of my favorite fish vets always says, "Fish are a lot smarter than we give them credit for."

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3 Comments:

Anonymous ben said...

i'm glad you found the other book by Johnson; that's the one i used (and ironically, just rediscovered while reorganizing my bookshelves) and recommend to folks who ask. no, there aren't that many.

8:17 PM  
Anonymous ben said...

ps. i thought i was your favorite fish vet??

8:20 PM  
Blogger Rebecca Skloot said...

I said she was ONE of my favorite fish vets ... I didn't say she was my favorite. That spot is reserved for you.

12:56 PM  

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