DO ELE­PHANTS KNOW WHO THEY ARE?

iD magazine - - Questions & Answers -

Re­searchers have been able to demon­strate that ele­phants have an aware­ness of the self, as il­lus­trated by the mir­ror test. When they are con­fronted with a mir­ror, most other an­i­mals will fre­quently mis­take their own re­flec­tion for a cheeky con­spe­cific that is im­i­tat­ing them. Not so with ele­phants: In an ex­per­i­ment three ele­phants had a white cross painted on their fore­head and were then shown a large mir­ror. One of the ele­phants, whose name is Happy, be­gan re­peat­edly touch­ing her trunk to that spot on her head— not on the mir­ror im­age. It was an un­mis­tak­able sign that Happy had rec­og­nized her­self. Re­searchers as­so­ciate mir­ror recog­ni­tion with com­plex so­cial lives. Play­ful pachy­derms have even been ob­served tak­ing a tourist’s cam­era to snap an “el­phie.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.