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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Kikwit's reflection

The other day I saw the most interesting thing. Manono, the second dominant male, and Kikwit, a subordinate, have never been friends. While they were sitting near each other, Manono chased Kikwit and bit him.

Kikwit screamed, but didn't defend himself. Then he ran down to the water, still screaming, and when he saw his own reflection, he got really upset and splashed the water. It was just the most fascinating behaviour ever. He knew it wasn't another bonobo in the water, because we know chimps and bonobos recognise themselves in mirrors (and reflections) so it was the sight of himself that upset him. What did it mean? I would love to talk bonobo, just for one day....

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