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TagCleaner wrasse

fishy reflection

The Mirror Test: The Key to a Sense of Self?

When fish and ants pass the test for “a higher sense of self” — but dogs and even kids in some cultures don’t — we should ask some questions

A recent article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provided even more evidence that some fish, in particular the tropical cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus) can recognize and respond to their own images. The fish is best known for cleaning dead skin and parasites off larger fish, without getting eaten. But it turns out they are also remarkable for recognizing themselves in mirrors and photographs. Following up on a 2019 open access paper demonstrating that these fish have that ability, the researchers added a new wrinkle: After the cleaner wrasse passed the mirror test, the researchers showed each fish four photographs: a photo of itself; a photo of an unfamiliar cleaner wrasse; a photo of its own face Read More ›