What is the Pike Syndrome?

The pike is a fierce carnivorous fish that eats other smaller fish, found generally in Northern climates.

In an interesting experiment, scientists took a pike and placed it into a large tank with many smaller fishes. However, the pike was separated from these smaller preys by a layer of glass, forming a barrier preventing the pike from reaching its prey.

The pike continuously smashed itself against the glass barrier trying to reach its prey but was unsuccessful in penetrating this invisible barrier. Gradually, it became discouraged and discontinued its behaviour. The pike eventually sank to the bottom of the tank and just laid there. When the pike finally stopped hitting the glass barrier, the scientists removed the barrier, allowing the pike to feast.

To their surprise, the pike continued ignoring the smaller fishes, even when they were swimming right next to the pike. Eventually, the pike starved to death, even when its food was swimming right in front of it. This behaviour was eventually known as the “Pike Syndrome.”

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