Elephants and Mirrors: A Surprising Discovery in Animal Intelligence
pass with flying colors: to succeed at something in a very impressive or thorough way
What do you see when you glance at a mirror? Your own face, right? But did you know we’re one of only eight species on Earth who recognize themselves in a mirror? This group includes chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, dolphins, magpies, and elephants.
Elephants, in particular, show unique behavior when faced with their reflection. Initially, they react as if they’re seeing a stranger. However, with time, they understand that the mirror animal is actually themselves. In fact, elephants love to use the mirror to look at what’s going on inside their mouths and admire their own tusks.
The ultimate test to confirm self-awareness is ‘the mark test.’ Invented in 1970, this test involves marking an animal’s body at a place only visible in the mirror. If the animal touches the mark on itself using the mirror, it shows a clear understanding of self. Watch the video below showing elephants passing this test with flying colors.
1. Maria studied hard for her English test and passed with flying colors.
2. After weeks of practice, Tim passed his driving test with flying colors.
3. Despite his nerves, John passed his job interview with flying colors and got the job.