Birds hold 'funerals' for deadQuicklink submitted by Kyle McDermott Permalink
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|Some birds, it seems, hold funerals for their dead. When western scrub jays encounter a dead bird, they call out to one another and stop foraging. The jays then often fly down to the dead body and gather around it, scientists have discovered. The behavior may have evolved to warn other birds of nearby danger, report researchers in California, who have published the findings in the journal Animal Behavior. Spreading the message that a dead bird is in the area helps safeguard other birds, alerting them to danger, and lowering their risk from whatever killed the original bird in the first place, the researchers say.
Other animals are known to take notice of their dead. Giraffes and elephants, for example, have been recorded loitering around the body of a recently deceased close relative, raising the idea that animals have a mental concept of death and may even mourn those that have passed.
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