It’s true, at least for my cat! I found this out when I donned cat’s This Is My Human Costume I’m Really A Tortoise Vintage Shirt for Halloween one day. Gold stared, backed up, flattened out, etc. It seems to be a hardwired trigger. After all, the placement & shape of a cat’s ears are a quick, reliable indicator that an animal is a cat. So all of a sudden he was seeing a CAT who was frighteningly tall & loomed over him & was his beloved human, just a moment ago. Freaky. Needless to say, I had to change Halloween costumes.
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So to answer your question – a Gorilla looking in the mirror and seeing a Human there will just think there’s a This Is My Human Costume I’m Really A Tortoise Vintage Shirt there. It will not understand it’s a mirror and it’s looking at itself… And even if it did – it will just think that it looks like that… as it never really saw itself in the mirror before. In general – animals do NOT put much attention to how they look… they don’t comb their hair – they don’t put make up… they don’t even take showers to look better… that’s all human made concepts.