Elephants have a sense of time and live long lives. Do they also think about death?
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Safari Live cameras filmed three young elephants gathering around an elephant carcass. They show what researchers have regularly seen in a similar context: elephants expressing grief or mourning. Elephant behavior expert Joyce Poole of ElephantVoices explains some of these signs of grief: “Body-mounting,” in which they climb on the carcass; "Back-toward:” they walk backwards towards the body and often touch it with the hindfoot; "Explore-Touch-Foot:” to touch the body with the forefoot and/or hindfoot; “Explore-touch-trunk:” touch and/or explore the body with the trunk; and, "silence:” a quiet contemplation. These behaviors do happen in other situations, but not as regularly as with a dead body. Whether elephants culturally transmit and learn these actions is part of an ongoing study.
Do Elephants Grieve? New Video Suggests They Do | Nat Geo Wild
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