JUL 19, 2016 11:14 AM PDT

Whales Mourn The Deceased, Just Like Humans

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Humans aren’t the only species walking the Earth that are capable of mourning the deceased. Despite the fact that many people think animals don’t have brains and can’t think for themselves, there is evidence to support that various species can actually feel emotions.
 
One of the latest examples comes in by example of whales, in which at least seven species of the marine-based mammals have been observed clinging onto their deceased and refusing to let them go. The findings are published in the Journal of Mammalogy.
 

Whales appear to mourn their lost loved ones, just like people do.

 Image Credit: Robin W. Baird, Cascadia Research via National Geographic

Whales aren’t the only species that have been known to partake in this behavior. Also do dolphins, and various land mammals like primates and even elephants.
 
Researchers are convinced that it’s a sign of grief, and that the whales, just like humans, are capable of feeling the saddened emotions that come from losing a loved one, and as a result, they cling onto the corpse as a way of showing their respects for them.
 
In some cases, the whales hold their loved ones above their heads, as if to show them off in a proud, bold manner.
 
All of the signs that you would expect to see in a grieving mind are there. “They are mourning,”
Melissa Reggente from the University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy said. “They are in pain and stressed. They know something is wrong.”
 
Unlike a lot of species, whales tend to live together following a birth. A mother and her calf can sometimes stay together for a lifetime, so it’s no doubt that some kind of bond is formed over the course of life.
 
For whatever reason, some will always insist that animals have no real feelings, but it always leaves one to wonder that anything with a brain can think or feel, and it seems almost barbaric to think otherwise.
 
Source: National Geographic

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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