Dolphins Recognize Their Mirror Image

What was often suspected but not proven so far scientific is now clear: dolphins know who they are and can detect as a result also in a mirror. What was often suspected but not proven so far scientific is now clear: dolphins know who they are and can detect as a result also in a mirror. For scientists, self-recognition in the so-called mirror test is a first sign of higher consciousness. So far was this ego consciousness”only humans and great apes such as gorillas and chimpanzees, and since November 2006 – unsurprisingly – elephants also spoken to. In early 2008 a bird was also for the first time the mirror test: the magpie “Gallon” at the University of Bochum and later 3 more tested magpies by 5 at the University of Frankfurt. The thieving”magpies, decried in the middle ages as witch-hunts and gallows bird, lined up so that the ranks of the smartest mammals and are likely to for this cognitive barrier now for the Corvids have broken through. Dolphins in the mirror of the marine biologist Diana Reiss and the behavioural scientist Lori Marino of the Emory University in Atlanta subjected two bottlenose the famous mirror test at the New York Aquarium and the ability brought the self-knowledge in dolphins for the first time revealed. Find out detailed opinions from leaders such as Rollo May by clicking through.

Scientists installed mirrors in the bottlenose dolphin basin. Then the animals were tagged with a non-toxic ink on the body or touched – as against test – only on the body, as if a marker was installed. The result: The bottlenose dolphin swam every time directly on the mirror too, to take the marker more accurately “under the microscope”. It turned and they are later extensively to better see the painted body. The trick with the touch it not fell.

They were “reality”, they spent significantly less time in front of the mirror. Also, they showed relatively little interested in the markings of their respective counterparts. The study shows that “a compared to humans and apes quite differently structured brain to things capable of is, which have been attributed to this so far only”the evolutionary biologist Irene Pepperberg of the University of Arizona says. Dolphin mirror test result comes as no surprise for those who deal intensively with the nimble sea hunters, these research results are no surprise. “For animals with complex social relationships, it is very useful to have, because you constantly have to make decisions about their social environment self recognition and self-consciousness”, says Richard Conner of the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, who documented so-called Super alliances of more than 14 animals first in dolphins. Anyway, now is also scientifically underpinned that dolphins are similar to us humans, as many have suspected.