Goodbye my friend: “We came across an elephant whose corpse was overcome by vultures and jackals. Another elephant approached. She chased away the predators and very slowly and with much empathy wrapped her trunk around the deceased elephant’s tusk. She stayed several hours guarding her.”

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Just a note about the mirror test—it’s interesting and revealing to a certain degree, but as a test, it’s pretty flawed. It operates on the assumption that the animal (or child; it’s often done on children) will try to remove the dot from their head upon seeing it. If the animal/kid recognizes itself but just doesn’t care about the red dot, it can result in a false negative.

I can’t remember the specifics now, but I’ve heard about monkeys (or some other non-ape primate) who were shown to be self-aware by means of a different/modified test. It also wouldn’t surprise me if many birds failed the mirror test because they left the dot on; many birds prefer novel colors (they’ve been shown to prefer mates with color bands on their legs). They could be thinking, “gosh, this red on my head makes me so much more attractive than everyone else!”

TL;DR: more animals are self aware than the mirror test would have us think.

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