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Scientists have taught goldfish how to drive

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

If you have goldfish who open their small mouths to get a shake or two of food pellets, you might want to tell them, hey, why don't we head out for some pizza? You can drive. Scientists at Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have trained six goldfish to drive a small fish tank on wheels around a room and steer it into a mark on the wall to receive food. After a few days of training, the fish navigated to the target, the scientists said in a press release and added, moreover, they were not fooled by false targets placed by the researchers, like a sign that might have said BJ Leiderman does our theme music.

Their findings appear in the journal Behavioural Brain Research, and I am left with a couple of questions, like, will goldfish now become long-haul truckers or Uber drivers? Will the vehicle options for Google Maps now include fish tanks? The ultimate proof that goldfish are not just endearing but clever is that the vehicle they drive is electric - better for the environment.

(SOUNDBITE OF VHS DREAMS' "HIGHWAY LOVERS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.