Scientists from Tomsk have established: wolves have self-awareness

Self-awareness is a sign of the high intellectual development of a living being. The simplest test of self-awareness is the reaction to your mirror image. For example, an animal, being in front of a mirror, begins to treat the reflection as a competitor in its territory, and shows aggression towards it. And, on the contrary, a being who, having seen himself in the mirror, makes attempts to study the seen object as himself, thus demonstrates signs of self-awareness.

Scientists have found that some species of mammals have self-awareness: in particular, great apes, dolphins, elephants, crows from birds, and manta rays among sea inhabitants.

However, the mirror test has many opponents who suggest not being limited to it. Thus, employees of Tomsk State University, their colleagues from the Institute of Evolution and Ecology Konrad Lenz, and Purdue University proposed their own test based on the sense of smell. A kind of odor "mirror" is installed in it in front of the animals.

The main object of study was wolves. Predators always identify themselves, relatives of the pack, or strangers by the smell of urine. As a test, they were offered clean scents and variants with anise oil admixture. The wolves preferred not to spend a lot of time studying "their" and "related" smells.

However, everything changed when the smell of a stranger or his own with an admixture of anise appeared. The reaction is an increased interest in an unfamiliar smell and even attempts to transfer it to oneself. As a result of numerous experiments, it was found that wolves clearly determine the difference between themselves, their relatives and strangers by smells, which indicates that they have self-awareness, albeit very primitive.