Dogs and cats often pounce or bark at their reflection in a mirror, but what happens when larger wild animals are placed facing their reflection?
A photographer has set up a mirror and motion sensor to find out and has released a hilarious video capturing their hilarities.
It is revealed that chimpanzees will take advantage of the opportunity to poke themselves while leopards and gorillas will pounce and lunge at the familiar-looking ‘f.oe’.
The experiment was carried out by French photographer Xavier Hubert Brierre.
He and his wife traveled to Gabon to set up mirrors in several locations and photograph the wildlife passing by.
He hid the camera in security boxes to capture images and set up a motion sensor that would trigger the camera whenever some wild animal walked near the mirror.
The results are fascinating, with an amusing response that includes a leopard trying to paw at a companion it can see.
In another scene, a giant silverback gorilla stares at his reflection for a moment before dashing into the mirror and trying to face what it thinks is another animal.
An elephant was also seen getting a glimpse before peacefully walking away.
And groups of chimpanzees were seen spending time near the mirror, with some apparently using it to preen themselves.
Despite the long days and a.tta.cks by various insects found in the African undergrowth. Mr. Brierre said the experience was a thoroughly enjoyable one.
“I had to wash mirrors on which leopards and monkeys leave greasy streaks, traces of insect stains on the surface, ignoring their reflective properties,” he said.
“My wife and I spent many long days at this site, frequently being… a.ttack.ed by different types of flies and bees.”
Interestingly, only some animals, such as humans, can recognize their own reflections, known as the mirror self-recognition test.
Humans typically show self-realization from around 18 months of age.
Most animals respond to seeing their own reflection with flexible behaviour, but a few species – such as certain primates – can exhibit the ability to perceive know like humans.
One gorilla, a western lowland gorilla named Koko, showed signs of passing the mirror test in 1993, but western silverback gorillas like the one seen in Gabon often get more aggressive.
Meanwhile, the only bird that ever passed the mirror test was a Eurasian magpie, which could see a sticker on its throat and in a mirror.
To capture the images, Mr Brierre (left) hid cameras in security boxes and set up motion sensors that would trigger the cameras whenever some wildlife walked close to the mirrors