Human Evolution

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 273–279 | Cite as

The responses of bonobos (Pan paniscus) to their mirror images: Evidence of selfrecognition

  • G. C. Westergaard
  • C. W. Hyatt


This research examined the responses of bonobos (Pan paniscus) to their mirror images. Nine bonobos were presented alternately with the reflective and non-reflective sides of a mirror. The apes exhibited considerable interest in the mirror, and immature animals exhibited higher frequencies of contingent action and inactive looking than did adults. four animals used the mirror to inspect parts of their bodies that were otherwise not visible to them, indicating that bonobos are capable of self-recognition.

Key words

Bonobo chimpanzee mirror Pan paniscus self-recognition 


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Copyright information

© International Institute for the Study of Man 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. C. Westergaard
    • 1
  • C. W. Hyatt
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Comparative EthologyNational Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentPoolesville, MDUSA
  2. 2.Yerkes Regional Primate Research CenterEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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