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Crows Grieve Their Dead
by KindMeal.my, 25 August 2014
Crows Grieve Their Dead

In his new book, Flight Ways, Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction, Australian anthropologist Thom Van Dooren argues that the idea of “human exceptionalism” – that people feel a range of emotions while animals do not – has damaged our attitude towards the environment.

Scientists are increasingly discovering that animals are capable of actions and thoughts once thought to be the preserve of humans, such as the use of tools, showing empathy to another creature and being able to convey complex ideas using sound. We know that elephants and other mammals have elaborate mourning rituals, but now researchers have found that crows also mourn for their own: “They notice their deaths, and those deaths impact on them.”

So what does a crow "funeral" look like? A British observer noted this ritual: "Just a few feet from the house lay an obviously dead crow, and about twelve other crows were hopping in a circle around the body. After a minute or two, one crow flew off for a few seconds, then returned with a small twig or piece of dried grass. It dropped the twig on the body, then flew away. Then, one by one, the other crows each left briefly, one at a time, and returned to drop grass or a twig on the body, then fly off until all were gone, and the body lay alone with twigs lain across it. The entire incident probably lasted four or five minutes ..."

Sources: http://bit.ly/1rnWaBl, http://ind.pn/1ogwi2z « Back To Articles