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For the first time, MPI researchers report in detail how a chimpanzee mother responds to the death of her infant. The chimpanzee mother shows behaviours not typically seen directed toward live infants, such as placing her fingers against the neck and laying the infant’s body on the ground to watch it from a distance. The observations of Katherine Cronin and Edwin van Leeuwen provide unique insights into how chimpanzees, one of humans’ closest primate relatives, learn about death. Their commentary appears online this week in the American Journal of Primatology.
Nearly nothing is known about how primates react to death of close individuals, what they understand about death, and whether they mourn. The MPI researchers therefore believe to have reported a unique transitional period as the mother learned about the death of her infant, a process never before reported in detail. But they largely refrain from interpretation, while providing extensive video to allow viewers the opportunity to judge for themselves what chimpanzees understand about death.
Originally posted by N3k9Ni
Watching the video is touching and almost heart-wrenching.
I don't think she understands what has happened to her baby. She seems to check several times for signs of life.
Do chimps mourn death?
I thought I'd share this here and get some reactions and opinions from the community.
UNITED in what appears to be deep and profound grief, more than a dozen chimpanzees stand in silence as the body of one of their own is wheeled past. Read more: www.news.com.au...