Mirror self-recognition in the bottlenose dolphin: a case of cognitive convergence

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 May 8;98(10):5937-42. doi: 10.1073/pnas.101086398. Epub 2001 May 1.

Abstract

The ability to recognize oneself in a mirror is an exceedingly rare capacity in the animal kingdom. To date, only humans and great apes have shown convincing evidence of mirror self-recognition. Two dolphins were exposed to reflective surfaces, and both demonstrated responses consistent with the use of the mirror to investigate marked parts of the body. This ability to use a mirror to inspect parts of the body is a striking example of evolutionary convergence with great apes and humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cognition*
  • Dolphins / physiology*
  • Visual Perception*