Reflections of Dolphin and Elephant Minds
Oct 18, 2013
The ability to recognize oneself in a mirror, once considered a uniquely human attribute, is shared by great apes, dolphins, elephants and magpies. In our comparative studies of mirror self-recognition in dolphins and elephants, they showed striking similarities to humans and great apes in the stages of behavior that emerged and the specific types of behaviors they exhibited when exposed to a mirror. These findings provide a case for cognitive convergence in highly encephalized but phylogenetically distinct species that are behaviorally, socially and cognitively complex.