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Author Topic: Do Chimpanzees Mourn Their Dead Infants?  (Read 828 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jetavan
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« on: February 02, 2011, 01:31:31 PM »

If a dog could hope to see his master return home at 5 pm, could a chimpanzee hope to see her dead infant in an after-life?

"Cronin and her colleagues observed the behaviour that a female chimpanzee expressed toward her 16-month-old infant who had recently died. After carrying the infant's dead body for more than a day, the mother laid the body out on the ground in a clearing and repeatedly approached the body and held her fingers against the infant's face and neck for multiple seconds. She remained near the body for nearly an hour, then carried it over to a group of chimpanzees and watched them investigate the body. The next day, the mother was no longer carrying the body of the infant.

Nearly nothing is known about how primates react to death of close individuals, what they understand about death, and whether they mourn. The MPI researchers therefore believe to have reported a unique transitional period as the mother learned about the death of her infant, a process never before reported in detail. But they largely refrain from interpretation, while providing extensive video to allow viewers the opportunity to judge for themselves what chimpanzees understand about death.

'The videos are extremely valuable, because they force one to stop and think about what might be happening in the minds of other primates', Cronin says. 'Whether a viewer ultimately decides that the chimpanzee is mourning, or simply curious about the corpse, is not nearly as important as people taking a moment to consider the possibilities.'"
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 01:32:30 PM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2011, 09:23:37 PM »

I'm sure lots of animals grieve for their dead.  Just because they're not at our intelligence doesn't mean they don't feel sumilar emotions.
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2011, 09:27:35 PM »

Elephants have a funeral ritual of sorts for their dead.
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2011, 10:38:18 PM »

One time I woke up super early because a cow was bawling and tied to the tree (which we have always seen a lot of cows for some reason tied and never scream).  When a friend and I went down to try to free it, we found a dead calf next to it.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 10:39:26 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2011, 04:19:44 AM »

Anyone whose had a dog knows that other creatures have emotions. however animals do have short memories, and foget the death of a member of thier group fairly easily.
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2011, 06:59:05 AM »

Anyone whose had a dog knows that other creatures have emotions. however animals do have short memories, and foget the death of a member of thier group fairly easily.

You obviously never saw:

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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2011, 10:50:43 AM »

I wouldn't surprise me if apes had similar physical reactions to the death of a loved one like we do, but I will say that I believe it is impossible for them to contemplate the meaning of death as we do. While they do have material brains similar to ours, that does not mean that they have minds like ours.
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2011, 11:37:43 AM »

I wouldn't surprise me if apes had similar physical reactions to the death of a loved one like we do, but I will say that I believe it is impossible for them to contemplate the meaning of death as we do. While they do have material brains similar to ours, that does not mean that they have minds like ours.

The Koko research seemed to have shown that gorillas might understand it as "sleep," and they may feel "happy, sad, afraid:"
http://www.kajama.com/index.php?file=articledetail&id=DC508A2E-0F28-42CA-882B-8B4818CFB53E&PageNum=1
So, not exactly sure if Koko understood death fully or not here, but it could be either.
As for the concept of God and religion and spirituality, that might solely be a human concept.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 11:41:19 AM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2011, 11:52:54 AM »

Yes, that's why I have no problem with the idea of evolution. Obviously human beings started out as simply another variety of animal, til God stepped in and ... changed them.

When we see how animals deal with death, we are seeing how human beings would behave if ww had not been given the amazing gift of immortal souls "in the image of God".

(IMHO. Smiley )
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2011, 03:09:27 PM »

Yes, that's why I have no problem with the idea of evolution. Obviously human beings started out as simply another variety of animal, til God stepped in and ... changed them.

When we see how animals deal with death, we are seeing how human beings would behave if ww had not been given the amazing gift of immortal souls "in the image of God".

(IMHO. Smiley )
Well stated.
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