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!)

Meerkat Manor Movie Series
Endorsed by Sioux Falls Zoologists

Sioux Falls Zoologists recommends the following documentaries that describe Meerkats living in their natural social setting in Africa's Kalahari Desert.

Here it is. A clan, a minature society, with so many human attributes it is amazing. Sioux Falls Zoologists find here the drive to survive and breed, a matriarchal society, group caring for the young, altruism, self-sacrifice, war, adultery. It's all here in this little clan of Meerkats making a living in Africa's Kalahari Desert. No TV, no cell phones, no texting, no FaceBook though. But these creatures risk their lives to drive off predators, the baby sitter of the young gives his life to protect them from a poisonous snake. He knows what it means to be bit, but he still suffers that fate to protect the young. What could be more human?

Meerkat society is somewhat like the elephant's, it has a matriarchal leader who makes the decisions, leads the group to food, leads the group in defending itself, leads the group to war with other clans (not something that elephants generally do). She is supposed to be the only female that's "allowed to breed", but her sisters in the clan have other ideas. And the clan's males? They are off trying to seduce the "sisters" in other clans. Never happens in human society, right? Wrong, it's a regular Peyton Place. The researchers watching this clan have their hands full keeping track of who just mated with who in the bushes. It's a fascinating series and a miniature mirror of human society in many ways.

The movies are all available from Amazon.com but you are free to obtain them from many other sources. Amazon offers them on their website along with many alternate sources, often less expensive. Many are probably also available on NetFlix.com and elsewhere for on-line viewing. You are free to choose whatever source you please. The movie links on the following pages point to the movie location at Amazon.

The Meerkat Manor Documentary Series is described on the following 5 pages:

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Meerkat Manor Movie Series
Endorsed by Sioux Falls Zoologists