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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

The Conservation Alliance

Self-aware Critters

Self-aware Critters

Southeast Asian Celebes Crested Macaque selfie (credit: file photo)

If you thought you were the only one who took and liked selfies, think again.

A talented Macaque monkey decided he wanted to take a self-portrait, so he grabbed a c-phone, made a big smile, and snapped a selfie. How he figured out the right button is unknown. Likewise, a visitor to the Canberra Zoo was allowed to visit the cheetah enclosure after the big cat had been fed. He took a selfie of himself with the cheetah. The cat's expression shows real curiosity.

                   Cheetah with visitor, Canberra Zoo 2014 (credit: Chris Holly)
Self-recognition is a psychologically important indicator of intelligence. Besides ourselves, only a handful of other animals have that ability including: elephants, dolphins, gorillas, magpies, and a few others. A simple test has been devised to determine self-awareness.

We should pay more attention to all creatures with such cognitive skills and try to learn what they can tell us about personality and inate intelligence. Both of these animals seem very pleased by their reflections.

WHB   .

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