Breakups really suck, even if you’re a fish

This convict cichlid fish is more emotionally complex than you might think. De Agostini via Getty Images

(Sigal Samuel / Vox) — We humans like to think we’re special creatures. We have rich emotional landscapes that are far more complex than those of, say, fish. Right?

A recent study shows that fish are more emotionally complex than we give them credit for. Scientists at the University of Burgundy in France studied one called the convict cichlid, a monogamous fish species that forms long-lasting pairs. They found that when female cichlids lose their chosen mates, they become glum and more pessimistic about the world.

It turns out emotional attachment to a partner is not unique to humans or even to mammals. Breakups really suck, even if you’re a fish. (…)

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