It may be a given and accepted fact that humans are far more superior to other creatures that exist on planet earth. However, modern studies have concluded that animals are capable of imitating certain practices that were initially considered exclusive to humans. Examples of these disproven presumptions include dolphins and whales having a far more complex audio-vocal communications than humans. Studies have also determined that apes are capable of forming a rudimentary survival group – a basic precursor to human communities. But are animals also capable of something as profound as funerals? Here are the top three non-human creatures and their unsophisticated forms of funeral services:
Few would ever credit giraffes for their intelligence. If anything, ordinary people would easily notice their physical attributes than anything else. Apart from their undisputed height and fascinating flagstone-patterned fur, contemporary studies have found giraffes gifted with unusual level of empathy. In three separate instances, zoologists have found giraffes mourning the death of their kin. Their vigil lasts an average of four days (too prolonged for a mere “passing curiosity”).
Elephants are magnificent creatures. In Africa and Southeast Asia, these docile gargantuan beasts are even revered by people and even considering them as equals. It comes to no surprise since elephants are credited for their astounding level of intelligence. The phrase describing “an elephant’s memory” was not merely fabricated out of thin air. As testament to their unusual “sentience”, scientists have observed a herd of elephants gathering around the bones of their kind. They even caressed their trunks on the ivory tusks of the elephant skull upon their feet. Although it is a far cry from the human tendency to worry about how to write a eulogy, these magnificent beasts seem to display their own brand of memorial rites. To some extent, elephants take it out on hapless human spectators and thrash their circus whenever they are reminded of the brutal death of their loved ones at the hands of illegal hunters.
No other creature has ever shared more of the human likeness than our beloved apes. After all, they’re the kinsmen to our evolutionary gene pool. Just like every other behavioral practice once thought to be exclusive to their homo-sapien cousins, apes also mourn their dead. In fact, an ape mother suffers she same exact display of post-traumatic grief as a human mother when their children die.