Greg Burch, <GBurch1@aol.com>, writes:
> As a sometimes temporary, sometimes permanent home to lemurs, our house
> provides a great place for observing the "low end" of the primate spectrum.
> Our newest addition, a three month old ringtail named Newton, just discovered
> mirrors last night. (At this age a lemur corresponds in lemur-terms to a
> young toddler, I'd say.) Like the others we've fostered or adopted before,
> he immediately perceived the mirror as a hole in the wall with another lemur
> on the other side. Newton's social instincts kicked in and he instantly
> jumped to go through the "hole in the wall" to interact with the "other"
> lemur -- with predictable results. Within seconds, he was involved in a
> detailed exploration of this new phenomenon, making small movements and
> watching the image in the mirror. As with every other lemur I've watched do
> this, Newton then settled into a session of absorbed staring into the mirror.
> What DIDN'T happen is behavior typically triggered by the presence of
> another lemur, i.e. social signaling.
That's amazing, both that you live with lemurs and that they are able to respond to mirrors in this way. If you come up behind them when they are looking in the mirror, do they know to turn around?