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Magpies with coloured stickers recognise themselves in the mirror

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posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 03:01 AM

Helmut Prior at Goethe University in Frankfurt and his colleagues applied a red, yellow or black spot to a place on the necks of five magpies. The stickers could only be seen using a mirror. Then he gave the birds mirrors.

One more addition to the list of self-aware animals.

posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 03:40 AM
Can you provide a link to the news article please?

I'm not exactly sure what a magpie is...

posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 04:06 AM
Sorry forgot the link

Here it is ....

posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 04:15 AM
reply to post by rocksolidbrain

Thanks for the link.

I never would have expected any bird to be able to recognize itself in a mirror. I guess they are very social animals though and maybe it was a major advantage for them to evolve this ability.

Nice find!

posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 07:08 AM
If I remember correctly, birds have one of the higher brain weight to total weight/body size ratios of a living organism.

I'm not too shocked by the discovery, I think a lot of animals are probably self aware, but my question is on what level. Is their language actually as intelligent as ours, with sentence structure, nouns, verbs, etc., or are they just a small set of specific tweets that mean specific things. Can they think about things and ponder them, like why his friend had to get eaten by that cat the other week since he was so young and vibrant. It would be incredibly interesting to know exactly what level they are on

I was thinking the other night that it'd be very interesting if they ever find out that a species on this planet - say dolphins - have real language structure. This means that it would be possible to figure it out, make a computer program that can identify it and translate it, and then speak back to them. Would we be told "so long and thanks for all the fish"?

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