Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Another No Agenda Zone Enhanced News Story

Mirror test suggests elephant self-aware
Tue, October 31, 2006
By AP WASHINGTON -- If you're Happy and you know it, pat your head.
That, in a peanut shell, is how a 34-year-old female Asian elephant in the Bronx Zoo showed researchers that pachyderms can recognize themselves in a mirror. It's complex behaviour observed in only a few other species.
In a 2005 experiment, Happy faced her reflection in an 2 1/2 -by-2 1/2 -metre mirror and repeatedly used her trunk to touch an "X" painted above her eye. The elephant could not
have seen the mark except in her reflection. Furthermore, Happy ignored a similar mark, made on the opposite side of her head in paint of an identical smell and texture, that was invisible unless seen under black light
The test results suggest elephants are self-aware, or at least that Happy is. The ability to distinguish oneself from others had previously been shown only in humans, chimpanzees and, to a limited extent, dolphins.

Weeks later Happy seems to be really getting the hang of the mirror and its importance much to the chagrin of her mate.


unca said...

One of your best, blogball. I think I'll copy this and put it on my wall or refrigerator. LOL.

bryan torre said...

if Happy's so self-aware, why doesn't she do something about her moth-eaten ears?

Happy, i don't want to criticize, but i think it wouldn't hurt to try and look your best, you know? I just want what's best for you, you know that. Would it be so bad to try and fix yourself up a little?

si said...

this is a great post! had read this story but didn't know what i was missing w/o your additions.

and bryan, now that happy has discovered herself w/mirrors, i'm sure she will start on the path of cosmetic improvement soon.

blogball said...

Hey Bryan, if you would have noticed happy “two weeks later” did fix her “moth bitten ears” and treated herself to a to a little tan at the local tanning solon to boot. So let’s get with the program.

si said...

hey blogball, you're right -- took a closer look at the "later" pic -- tan and smooth! wow, vanity took over quick.

jay are said...

Unfortunately for Happy, I think the X on her forehead DOES make her butt look big. Or maybe her butt just is big. It's a lose- lose for her partner there. However, it's a "known fact" that tan fat looks WAAAAYY better than white fat.