AUG 13, 2015 5:41 AM PDT

Mirror, Mirror, Who is That?


When French researchers released video of a gorilla going ape on his own reflection in a mirror, it went viral. But the gorilla's reaction is not that unusual for animals. In order to know that the reflection is not another animal, a creature has to be self- aware and there are not many species in the animal kingdom that have the ability to know they are looking at a reflection of themselves and not another animal.

In 1970, a test for self-awareness, using a mirror was developed. An animal or a human had a mark placed on their face with a smudge of body paint. When the animal was then placed in front of a mirror, those that knew it was a reflection of themselves would reach up to brush off the mark. Human babies develop this skill around the age of 18 months or so, and some animals have it, including some pigeons, elephants, dolphins and bonobos, but most do not.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
MAR 25, 2020
Cardiology
MAR 25, 2020
Exclusive Breastfeeding Promotes Moms Heart Health
New mothers face a vast number of choices as they welcome the new child into the world. One such choice is how to feed t ...
MAR 31, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 31, 2020
This Spider Goes Fishing for Food
Most spiders are land animals, but the fishing spider tends to spend most of its time dwelling on watery surfaces. Fishi ...
APR 12, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 12, 2020
Three New Crew Members Arrive at the International Space Station
The International Space Station received three new crew members this past week following extensive pre-quarantine measur ...
APR 12, 2020
Plants & Animals
APR 12, 2020
It's Jellyfish Eat Jellyfish Out There...
These Aurelia jellyfish roam the void of the ocean in massive groups, an occurrence that doesn’t happen by acciden ...
MAY 07, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAY 07, 2020
Your Night Light Could Be a Glowing Plant
Glowing plants light themselves up House plants are not just decorations: thanks to science, they might become a part of ...
MAY 17, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 17, 2020
Here's Why it's So Critical That We Understand the Sun
The Sun is just one of countless stars that exist in our universe. But it’s one of the most prominent because it&r ...
Loading Comments...