Sioux Falls Zoologists

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!"

The mirror test is an experiment developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. to determine whether an animal possesses the ability to recognize itself in a mirror. It is the primary indicator of self-awareness in non-human animals and marks entrance to the mirror stage by human children in developmental psychology. Animals that pass the mirror test are: Humans older than 18 mo, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Orangutans, Gorillas, Bottlenose Dolphins, Orcas (Killer Whales), Elephants, and European Magpies. Others showing signs of self-awareness are Pigs, some Gibbons, Rhesus Macaques, Capuchin Monkeys, some Corvids (Crows & Ravens) and Pigeons w/training. (Sorry Kitty!)

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse Koko: The Gorilla Who Talks
The article about Koko in 1978 in National Geographic started me on my
long journey studying animal intelligence. Animals have names, talk
and communicate, have emotions, solve problems, make tools,
raise and teach their young, have complex social lives
and social communities, mourn their dead, and
there are even hints of spirituality.

They are just like us in many, many ways.

Koko: The Gorilla Who Talks

Koko: The Gorilla Who Talks (2015) - 60 minutes
Koko: The Gorilla Who Talks at Amazon.com

In 1971, graduate student Penny Patterson began teaching sign language to a gorilla named Koko, unaware that the relationship would come to define both their lives. What started out as a scientific experiment evolved into an intimate friendship, which for almost half a century has challenged the way we think about animals and changed the course of many lives.

Koko: The Gorilla That Talks is a unique window into an incredible relationship. What can we learn from this extraordinary experience, and does it tell us more about animals' emotions or our own? Over 40 years later, now internationally famous, Koko continues to redraw the line between people and animals.

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Koko: The Gorilla Who Talks

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse
The article about Koko in 1978 in National Geographic started me on my
long journey studying animal intelligence. Animals have names, talk
and communicate, have emotions, solve problems, make tools,
raise and teach their young, have complex social lives
and social communities, mourn their dead, and
there are even hints of spirituality.

They are just like us in many, many ways.