8 Animals That Recognize Their Reflections

Back to mirror test | Continue to Dolphin

1. Elephant

In 2006, animal handlers at a New York zoo put a mirror that was almost 8.2 ft (2.5 m) tall into the elephant enclosure. As the elephants saw themselves, they didn’t greet the new elephant (well, we don’t do it in the bathroom mirror either). But: They used the mirror to look inside their mouths and used it to look behind them - which you can only do if you know that the mirror is a flat plate, rather than a new part of the enclosure. Only one of the three elephants removed the colored dot from its forehead. The others simply didn’t seem bothered (see “The mirror test has its limits”).

African Elephant African Elephant - Photo: JONATHAN PLEDGER/Shutterstock