Magpies are the first non-mammal to demonstrate a rudimentary affinity for self-recognition, psychologist Helmut Prior of Goethe University of Frankfurt in Germany and his colleagues report in the Aug. 19 PLoS Biology. Members of the corvid family, which includes crows and ravens, magpies join apes, bottlenose dolphins and elephants as the only animals other than humans that have been observed to understand that a mirror image belongs to their own body.
“When magpies are judged by the same criteria as primates, they show self-recognition and are on our side of the ‘cognitive Rubicon,’” Prior says.
The extreme difficulty of reading Penguin has been very much lessened by the use of the underwater motion-picture camera. On film it is at least possible to repeat, and slow down, the fluid sequences of the script, to the point where, by constant repetition and patient study, many elements of this most elegant and lively literature may be grasped, though the nuances, and perhaps the essence, must forever elude us.
It was Professor Duby who, by pointing out the remote affiliation of the script with Low Greylag, made possible the first tentative glossary of Penguin. The analogies with Dolphin which had been employed up to that time never proved very useful, and were often quite misleading.
— Ursula K. Le Guin, The Author of the Acacia Seeds
Wild, Unsupported Theory: every species on our planet has some form of consciousness. We just don't have the tests or means of communication to figure that out yet.
Wild, Unsupported Implications: humanity is nothing special. Every species has equal value. Maybe even plants. We have exactly the same (moral) right to kill and eat other species as other species have to kill and eat us. Welcome back into the circle of life!