, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 300–314 | Cite as

Mirror responses in a Japanese macaque troop (Arashiyama West)

  • Meredith M. Platt
  • Robert L. Thompson


Behavior toward two mirrors in the field was observed in the Arashiyama West troop ofMacaca fuscata. Counts of visits to the mirrors, plus scan and focal animal sampling were used. Some animals were marked with fluorescent paint to test informally for self-recognition. A relatively high mean frequency of visits to the reflecting side of both mirrors by all age classes, ranks, and sexes was recorded. There was no age difference in frequency of mirror visits per sample but adults spent more time per visit than subadults who in turn spent more time than juveniles. There was no indication of self-recognition by paint-marked animals. Mirrors appeared to be used to monitor the reflected scene and to look at the self-image. Social behavior in the mirror zone that was not directed toward the mirror was common to all age classes. Species-typical behavior directed toward the mirror was seen in younger animals but very seldom in adults. No threat displays by any animal were observed. We suggest that for adults the mirror image was not seen simply as another monkey.

Key Words

Japanese macaque Macaca fuscata Self-recognition Mirrors Field studies 


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meredith M. Platt
    • 1
  • Robert L. Thompson
    • 1
  1. 1.Biopsychology ProgramHunter College of the City University of New YorkNew YorkU.S.A.

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