Dogs know where their paws end and the world begins, a new study shows, adding our furry companions to a group of animals that, like humans, recognize themselves as distinct entities from their environment.

Called body awareness, this ability is one of the most basic manifestations of self-representation (also known as self-awareness). Humans develop body awareness very early in life: 5-month-old babies can distinguish their own moving legs from a video recording of the same action, for example. This ability then develops into more complex forms of distinguishing oneself from those around them.

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