Elephants just got even more baller August 6, 2009
Remarkably, it’s just been announced that elephants have passed the test for self-awareness. The Mirror Self Recognition (MSR) test is exactly what it sounds like, testing an elephant’s reaction to the one in the mirror. The Asian elephants tested by researchers at the Bronx Zoo responded to the placement of marks on their faces by attempts to remove them, after quickly ascertaining that the marks they saw were actually on their own skin. With behavior matching apes and dolphins, also self-aware animals, elephants have finally proved that having 14 pounds of brain has its benefits. Since the club of self-aware mammals is still pretty exclusive, I’m thinking we’d better get matching outfits and make a secret handshake before everybody tries to get in. While humans are pretty lonely in the meta-awareness club (being aware that we’re aware), at least it means no other species will start writing more bad lyrics about trying to find themselves.