Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Elephants Intelligence

Elephants demonstrate subjective self-awareness, a trait that until recently, was reserved for humans and apes. This degree of self-consciousness is believed to be a prerequisite for animals to demonstrate empathy and altruism -- behaviour which may be demonstrated by elephants that live in complex societies and have a reputation for helping each other. This newly discovered self-awareness in elephants was observed in a mirror-test that was performed in the Bronx Zoo. Elephants were placed in front of a large mirror and their behaviour was observed. Elephants not only recognized themselves, but they also used the mirror to examine hidden parts of themselves.

As the lines blur between humans and other life that share the planet, more species, like the elephant, are moving closer to extinction everyday.


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