Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Elephant awareness?

An Asian elephant in the Bronx Zoo showed the ability to recognize herself in a mirror. This behavior, indicating at least a basic level of self-awareness, has been seen only in humans and chimps until now. (Results on dolphins are suggestive but not definite.) Some animals ignore mirrors, while others assume the image is another individual. Interestingly, only one of the three elephants clearly understood the test, touching her trunk to her face where the mirror showed a marking.

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