How Chimpanzees Mourn Their Dead (Video)

ChimpanzeeTim Barribeau writes on io9.com:

Chimpanzees are our closest primate relative, and have a number of behaviors we once thought were human only: they empathize, cooperate, and have a sense of self. But how do they deal with the most distressing event possible — death?

Two studies this being published in Current Biology this week show a remarkable amount about how chimpanzees mourn, and the effect that death has on them — sometimes in ways very similar to us, sometimes shockingly different.

In what is an incredibly rare occurrence, cameras recorded the death and mourning of two groups of chimps — one with an elderly female, and the other with the death of two infants. When an adult chimp dies unexpectedly or traumatically, the tribe’s reaction is often loud and violent. Both times here, the reaction from those close to the dead was very different.

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Above Image: Photo by Thomas Lersch (CC) via Wikimedia Commons

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