Chimpanzees are an highly intelligent species. You probably know this by now if you have been following the blog for a while. One test chimpanzees have passed numerous times is the Mirror Self-Recognition Test. This test simply shows that an individual knows that the reflection they are looking at in a reflective surface (i.e. mirror) is in fact their own and not a separate individual. Only a handful of species have passed this test to date, including all the large-bodied apes (including humans), elephants, dolphins, orcas, and magpies.
The chimpanzees here are no exception. They all seem to like to look at their reflections. Willy B absolutely loves staring at himself in the mirror!
While Willy B, and most of the other residents, like to stare at their reflection, Honey B uses it a tad differently.
First and foremost, the large Looky Lou mirror in the Mezzanine is a giant swing toy!
Once she has her fun swinging on this giant pendulum, she will stand there holding it. Then ever-so-slightly, turn it to make sure the humans watched her “coming in like a wrecking ball.”
And she will make sure we were watching from multiple angles.
Even when we arrive with camera in hand, she will watch us intently taking pictures, but through the reflection of the mirror.
Honey B is so clever and fun spirited. Her intelligence never ceases to amaze us, as do all the residents here! Just the other day I was quickly reminded of how clever they really are, especially with the use of mirrors and other reflective surfaces. As I was in a (what I thought was) blindspot in the kitchen, I heard Burrito Bronx cheering and banging on the mesh from one of the front rooms. This is usually Burrito talk for, “Hey you! It’s play time!” I didn’t think it was possibly directed to me because how could he see me? Then it hit me! The door leading to the chimp area was positioned ever-so-right that he could see me through the reflection of the window on the door! Since this discovery, I’ve noticed he will position himself in the front rooms if he has the slightest hint any of us are in this blindspot trying to get some work done. “Silly humans!”
As a bonus to end the day, here are some photos of Negra and Jody today!