Can monkeys recognise themselves in mirrors?

'Is that me?'

The mirror test is meant to help indicate if a species is capable of higher level thinking- above and beyond just instinct.

The group of species that can recognize their own reflections in mirrors is an exclusive one. All great apes can (Humans, Bonobos, Chimpanzees, Orangutans and Gorillas), as well as Elephants, Bottlenose dolphins, Orcas and European Magpies.

The experiment setup is deceptively simple- a mark is placed on the animal and they are given a mirror, the idea being they pass the test if they manage to identify the mark, thus showing they are aware they’re looking at a reflection of themselves.

Judging whether the observed behaviour is a sign of true consciousness though, is difficult. Although no monkey species (different to great apes) have passed the test, there is still some debate about whether they have shown sufficient signs of self-recognition in some of the experiments that have been done.

For more information on the mirror test, see here.

For more about whether monkeys can see themselves in mirrors, see here.