Mirror, Mirror in the Bush
September 17, 2016 9:59 PM   Subscribe

Anne-Marie and Xavier Michel Hubert Brierre with Michel Guiss Djomou set a large mirror up in the forest of Gabon and recorded animal's encounter with it [SLYT]
posted by Mitheral (17 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Well, duh. Mirrors are scary.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:18 PM on September 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

I seem to remember an experiment where researchers put a mirror in an enclosure with some captive primates. The primates figured out that it was them in the reflection and used the mirror to explore parts of themselves that they usually couldn't see. (it was their buttholes)
posted by tresbizzare at 10:19 PM on September 17, 2016 [9 favorites]

I liked the whitish primate who we saw smearing something on the mirror about halfway through. Was it territorial marking? A dominance display? Did he recognise the mirror as something "other"?
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:36 PM on September 17, 2016 [11 favorites]

Monkey butts
posted by tresbizzare at 10:45 PM on September 17, 2016 [4 favorites]

(2) Genital-unrelated behaviors

(1) High-power laser training with food reward
God bless you, science.
posted by books for weapons at 10:52 PM on September 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

I suppose it's kind of funny and entertaining, but I find something disturbing and unnatural about freaking these animals out.
posted by tunewell at 12:46 AM on September 18, 2016 [9 favorites]

The animals got some unusual entertainment out of it and we got to see a leopard, all those gorillas and chimpanzees and a forest elephant. Forest elephants are pretty rare, and I've never seen film of one.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 1:21 AM on September 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

@1.18: they look like any ordinary household trying to get ready for work and school in the morning

@2.00: omg they have already begun worshipping the mirror
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:43 AM on September 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

This isn't quite a double post, since this specific video wasn't in the previous thread, but MeFites discussed many more of the Hubert-Brierres' videos in this thread from 2013.
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:48 AM on September 18, 2016

I posted a whole bunch of these (though not this particular video) a few years back. They have some amazing footage in there, and they also have a bunch of camera trap videos. My favorites were the mandrills, and also the red river hogs, and the gaboon viper is pretty cool. There are 91 videos from that particular forest in Gabon on their playlist, so you can spend a while pretending to be in the forest!

If you find that fun, the Pan-African Chimpanzee Project has a network of camera traps all over chimpanzee range forests in equatorial Africa, ultimately to collect data on chimpanzee cultural behavior across the continent. They have a citizen science project, Chimp&See, and you can spend a lot of time watching camera trap videos, identifying chimps and other animals in the rainforest and noting what they're up to.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:54 AM on September 18, 2016 [5 favorites]

Clearly, the main purpose of a mirror in the wild is to give wild cats some place to leave nose prints. I am sure there is an evolutionary reason.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:37 AM on September 18, 2016

Not cool.
posted by davebush at 6:46 AM on September 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

So did they talk to monkey lawyers about expectation of privacy before doing this? I mean, sneaking in a mirror in someone's living room is one thing, but filming it and posting the videos on YouTube?
posted by effbot at 7:18 AM on September 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

I would be surprised if putting up the mirror passed institutional ethical review boards; camera traps are pretty common and useful tools
posted by ChuraChura at 7:41 AM on September 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

I kept hearing a strange ascending crescendo of whorling vortices of operatic voices warbling ... beckoning. Familiar, like a black stone.

Seriously this is 2001 freakout territory. LOL...
posted by symbioid at 10:09 AM on September 18, 2016

I kept waiting for the chimp to attack with a bone and then fling it in the air.
posted by symbioid at 10:10 AM on September 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

So, now I am wondering are those birds crown eagles or palm nut vultures ?

And palm nut vultures, what a find. Vegetarian vultures -- who knew ?
posted by y2karl at 4:27 PM on September 18, 2016

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