Are you sufficiently self-aware
to realise that it is your
staring back at you?**
* This is how the Victorians referred to seahorses.
**The sense in which animals can be said to have consciousness or a self-concept has been the subject of much debate. The best known research technique is Gordon Gallup’s mirror test. This test involves the skin of an animal being marked while it is asleep / sedated. It is then allowed to see its reflection in a mirror. If the animal spontaneously directs grooming behaviour towards the mark, that is taken as an indication that it is aware of itself. Self-awareness by this criterion has been reported for, amongst others, common chimpanzees, elephants, killer whales and magpies.