June 25, 2013 3:25 PM Subscribe
posted by Toekneesan (17 comments total)
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"After she passed, the chimps examined the body, inspecting Pansy’s mouth, pulling her arm and leaning their faces close to hers. Blossom sat by Pansy’s body through the night. And when she finally moved away to sleep in a different part of the enclosure, she did so fitfully, waking and repositioning herself dozens more times than was normal. For five days after Pansy’s death, none of the other chimps would sleep on the platform where she died."—
"Want to Understand Mortality? Look to the Chimps
", by Maggie Koerth-Baker
in the NYT
More about Pansy:
"Chimps 'Mourned' and 'Comforted' Dying Ape
Do chimps mourn? The most recent work about the issue comes from work done by Katherine Cronin and Edwin van Leeuwen for the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the article, "Behavioral Response of a Chimpanzee Mother Toward Her Dead Infant
and from Dora Biro, et. al's article titled "Chimpanzee Mothers at Bossou, Guinea Carry The Mummified Remains of Their Dead Infants
This astonishing video
and this one
comes from Cronin and van Leeuwen's work.
And this video
of a mother chimpanzee in Bossou, Guinea is even more mesmerizing. As is this video
of a mother who carried the mummified corpse of her dead child, and an interaction with one of the very young chimps in the group. It comes from the work of Dora Biro, cited above.
's "Do Chimpanzees Understand Death?
Like tool use and self-awareness, distinct grief and mourning might be just one more thing we share with our closest living relatives, by Katherine Harmon 4/27/2010
's "What Death Means to Primates
", by Brian Switek 4/18/2011
Animal Planet's Chimps and Death
Robert Sapolsky tackles the question What Separates Us from Chimps?