What do new freshwater fish tanks, episodic memory, humans, and neuroscience have in common?
Well Danio rerio of course – the little zebra danio that we have employed for pets and as canaries in the coal mines to start new fish tanks. Our hobby is more interesting than anything in the World. If we explore even the hardiest simplest fish in the pet store we find amazing things.
The Zebra Danio found its place in the aquatic trade back in the mid-1800s in India. British colonists and hobbyists caught these hardy cold tolerant fish and kept them in those first primitive fish tanks for home amusement and scientific distraction. One hundred and fifty years later we sell this fish in every aquarium center, including of course AquariumFishSale.com, for the zebra danios tolerance to new aquarium water and its wonderful playful schooling action. That is just the tip of the iceberg!
One Dr. George Streisinger discovered that the zebra danio, being an easy to reproduce vertebrate AND sharing more than 70% of the genes of human beings, is fundamentally a breakthrough research animal.
Today 500 labs around the world employ the zebra danio to study neurology, cancer, infectious disease, muscular dystrophy, and memory. Yes, memory!
Trevor Hamilton published his first article in 2015 demonstrating episodic memory in the zebra danio – an ability to retain and act upon the what, where, and which of an experience (not the why or the who thank goodness or this short little blog will get a bit bizarre).
Sometimes our reward in caring and observing our aquatic pets is more than just what our eyes can see.
Freshwater Warehouse Manager and Aquarist