Who said only dolphins are good at doing tricks?

We have a new fish in the lab. I had never seen this species of fish before, but my expectations were high! I did some search on the web, and found out that the lumpfish can also be called the lump sucker. I immediately though it had to be a cool fish. And it turns out it is a cool fish and also a cold water species. And guess what… it does have the odd lumps, and the sucking disk in its belly, that they use to attach to rocks and apparently balloons.

But there is more to this fish than just the good looks. Apparently they can be trained too. Meet Blondie, the female lump fish that learnt how to do a spin, blow bubbles, swim through a hoop and sit… Blondie was trained by Lindsay in the New England Aquarium. As with other animals, seals, reptiles and even our pets, training can make medical tests easier to do.
Check the two videos below. The first video shows you the cool tricks, spinning, the hula hoop and sitting.

But in the second video, you can see why some of these behaviours are useful. In this video, Blondie is getting a routine skin scrape. Dr. Keiko Hirokawa, a New England Aquarium vet, takes a microscope slide and lightly scrapes Blondie’s side to check for parasites. How cool is that? Well, there are many other cool curiosities about this fish that I even might start a lump sucker series!