It has been well-documented that only highly-intelligent animals, such as elephants, some great apes, magpies and humans, can recognise themselves in the mirror.
Good for them.
For other animals who don’t recognise their reflections, however, the sudden, mysterious appearance of another of their species can prompt a strong reaction.
French photographer Xavier Hubert Brierre travelled with his wife to Gabon, where the pair set up a large mirror in several locations and recorded the animals that came by.
First, a leopard tries to kiss its reflection and then a gorilla tries to kill its reflection.
By contrast, it’s clear that the chimpanzees and the elephant recognise themselves. The elephant in particular looks genuinely bored as it lumbers past.
The best reactions, we think, come from the bird and the baboon, however. The former hurtles straight into the mirror while the latter sees its reflection and literally jumps out of the way in fear.
YouTube users seem to disagree. One, calling themselves NimbleBlood, links to the part of the video where Mr. Brierre is cleaning the mirror.
‘Funniest animal yet,’ he writes.