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Animals Who Mourn Their Dead


By Kristina C.

Some birds, it seems, hold funerals for their dead.

When western scrub jays encounter a dead bird, they call out to one another and stop foraging. Other animals are known to take notice of their dead.

Giraffes and Elephants, for example, have been recorded loitering around the body of a recently deceased close relative, raising the idea that Elephants have a mental concept of death, and may even mourn those that have passed.

Like elephants, chimpanzees have large brains, live a long time and also live in complex social groups; they have also been observed mourning their dead for prolonged periods of time.

Scientists are wary of saying that some mammals have a concept of death, while noting that more species than had been thought react when one of their own dies.

Read her article 4 Animals Who Mourn Their Dead.

Magpies, like other birds such as ravens and chickens,are surprisingly empathetic to others of their kind. Once in a while they’ll be seen engaging in elaborate social rituals that drive scientists and researchers crazy with interest.

A sea lion will continue wailing in mourning after its child has died, letting out loud cries. The same behavior has also been seen in sea lions dealing with companions, mates or cubs taken by hunters. The signs of grief amongst sea lions are easy enough for humans to recognize, as they mirror how we might cry out in agony when suffering a loss.

Though there are a number of different sub-species of geese, there is something that they all have in common: geese pair for life, devoting themselves to one mate for their life's entirety. After a goose dies, its mate will mourn deeply: starving themselves, and separating from the flock for a period of time. However, after the period of mourning comes to an end (and the length of time varies), the goose will eventually find a new mate in another bird that has also lost its partner.