Short Communication


, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 145-150

First online:

Reactions of a group of pygmy chimpanzees (Pan paniscus) to their mirror-images: Evidence of self-recognition

  • Vera WalravenAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, University of Antwerp
  • , Linda van ElsackerAffiliated withRoyal Zoological Society Antwerp
  • , Rudolf VerheyenAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, University of Antwerp

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A group of seven pygmy chimpanzees (Pan paniscus) was tested for their mirror-image reactions during a ten-day experiment. The time spent viewing the mirror waned quickly. Little social responses directed towards the mirror were observed. Self-directed behaviors were shown from testday one on. It was concluded that four out of seven animals could correctly identify their mirror-image, one infant was not (yet) able to do so, and for two other individuals the results were inconclusive.

Key Words

Self-recognition Pygmy chimpanzee Pan paniscus Mirror