No Need for A Mirror, Dogs Say "I Can Recognize Myself from Just The Smell"

Khryss | Published 2017-09-27 23:57

Now, you might've had this in mind already but here's a scientific evidence for you.

Scientists have long used mirrors to know if animals recognize themselves. Called the mirror test, this aimed to show whether or not they have some sense of self. While certain creatures did well on this--including chimps, dolphins, elephants--our beloved furry best friends seem to have their own world.

Dogs didn't pass this test. They sometimes ignore the mirror when shown or often bark at it as if their reflection is a stranger. But what if this doesn't necessarily mean they can't distinguish themselves? What if it's merely a "sense division"?

So, she decided to let the dogs show their own way of self-recognition and supported their own, smelly terms. In her recent study, she showed how they can identify their own urine through smelling.

“I had always flirted with the idea in my head that there should be an olfactory mirror,” Alexandra Horowitz, a psychologist at Barnard College said, acknowledging that “it could be horrifying for humans.” (Yeah, talk to me about it. Just the mere thought of living in a world of smells makes me gag.)

However, some researchers say more evidence is need to support Dr. Horowitz' conclusion. Nonetheless, the mere idea of smell mirror is intriguing enough. What if humans actually do it but we're just not as accustomed and aware as dogs are? Let me leave you with that thought. Happy sniffing!

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/science/dogs-smell-recognition.html

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