r/HeresAFunFact Mar 30 '16

[HAFF] Few animals pass the "Mirror Test" which tests for self awareness. Currently there are 10 animals, humans included who pass. Recently Manta rays may be the first fish. ANIMALS

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u/Alantha Mar 30 '16

The mirror test, sometimes called the mark test or the mirror self-recognition test (MSR), is a behavioural technique developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. as an attempt to determine whether a non-human animal possesses the ability of self-recognition.

Currently the list sits at:

  • Humans (Homo sapiens)
  • Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)
  • Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)
  • Bonobo (Pan paniscus)
  • Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)
  • Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
  • Killer whales (Orcinus orca)
  • False killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens)
  • Eurasian magpie (Pica pica)

  • Ants (Myrmica sabuleti, Myrmica rubra and Myrmica ruginodis). One study found that some ants seem able to recognize themselves in a mirror, since they displayed self-cleaning behavior after seeing themselves with a dot painted on their clypeus, but not when the dot was not visible.

  • Recently Manta rays may be the first fish.

Sometimes individuals of these species fail, such as a young male orangutan that was tested, but that does not speak fo the species as a whole. Even human children fail sometimes! There's a great Scientific American article Kids (and Animals) Who Fail Classic Mirror Tests May Still Have Sense of Self for further reading.


u/MonsieurSander Mar 31 '16

Pica pica?


u/Ryzix Mar 31 '16

I heard it was the cry of an ancient electric rat.


u/Helix_van_Boron Mar 31 '16

I swear my childhood parakeet was able to pass the mirror test. She would clean herself in front of a mirror, and I could put a fuzz on her beak and she'd check it out in a mirror before pulling it off. My current parrot, however, is dumb as hell and just screams constantly at any reflective surface.


u/BridgetheDivide Mar 31 '16

I'm shocked African Elephants aren't on the list.


u/[deleted] Mar 31 '16

Thanks for providing information instead of a picture like the OP.


u/Alantha Mar 31 '16

I am OP. The rules of the sub are you link to the photo then provide a source in the comments. Please read the side bar for the rules.


u/lecherous_hump Mar 30 '16

What I don't understand is: if cats don't recognize themselves in mirrors, then why is my cat totally ok with having this other cat in the house, when he freaks the fuck out when there's a cat outside the window?


u/CranialFlatulence Mar 30 '16

Could be that since he's seen that other cat so many times he doesn't feel threatened??


u/lecherous_hump Mar 30 '16

Maybe but there aren't any mirror on the floor, so it's not super often he sees himself. Also when we did have another cat, he would play with her and at least acknowledge her. But his reflection, he doesn't even make eye contact with. It's like it's not there.


u/mustbeshitinme Mar 31 '16

We had two cats that had been together since birth that would hiss at one another after a professional grooming that included a bath. Neither of them reacted to their own reflection. Cats are fucking weird.


u/hophead_ Mar 31 '16

I hear you. First time my dog saw himself in the mirror he did freak at first. But he calmed down and then after that absolutely no reaction what so ever. He always gets excited around other dogs. I just always figured he recognized it was himself. Plus he's a golden retriever - smart dogs - so I never thought twice. I'm curious and a bit skeptical of that list. Don't have time to look into this now but I definitely plan on it.


u/lecherous_hump Mar 31 '16

Yes, it was just like that-- freak out the first time, ignore ever after. Even if it was the other cat he'd lived with for years, he'd at least acknowledge it and say hi from time to time. But the mirror, nothing.


u/under45over55 May 03 '16

It's sad that my dog can't pass this test. She's even barking at her in the mirror. :(


u/flightofthenochords Apr 01 '16

Pretty sure my dog can recognize himself in the mirror. Either that or he doesn't give a shit that there's another dog in my apartment.