Saturday, November 11, 2006

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Who's the Fairest Pachyderm of them All?

Fascinating article in the Washington Post about a recent experiment to measure the extent of consciousness in elephants:

Researchers over the years have provided body-size mirrors to hundreds of animals in zoos and other habitats. Almost always, the animals act as though the image they see is of another.

"Most animals seem incapable of learning that their behavior is the source of the behavior in the mirror," Gallup said. "They are incapable of deciphering that dualism."

By contrast, human babies get it by age 2, as do adult chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans.

The elephants passed the test. Check out the Post link for video.

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