Long term memory…sort of

It’s unlikely anyone will confuse the cognitive ability of cichlids with bottle-nosed dolphins, elephants, dogs, or primates. However, don’t undersell a cichlid’s memory.


Adult Labidochromis caeruleus (Yellow lab or Electric yellow lab). Photo courtesy of the author.
A recent Canadian study offers additional support for the ability of African cichlids to form long term memory. While long term in this case is considered 12 days, remember that, when compared to long lived mammals such as elephants and primates, cichlids aren’t long lived. The research was conducted using a popular Tanganyikan cichlid, the yellow lab (Labidochromis caeruleus). Specifically, the research shows that yellow labs can remember food locations using certain stimuli. ​

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