Do Birds Hold Funerals?

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Do Birds Hold Funerals? - as part of the news series by GeoBeats.

Do animals and birds have funerals for the dead? According to data collected by researchers from the University of California Davis, the western scrub jay in California has been observed making distinct calls to other jays in the area, possibly to warn them of potential danger after discovering a dead jay. The birds then congregate around the dead body of their fellow jay. Researchers also noted that the birds appeared to stop foraging for food in the immediate area for a period of over 24 hours.

The researchers conducted experiments to see how the birds would react in comparison to different objects, such as colored pieces of wood, stuffed jays and a stuffed Great Horned Owl, to simulate the bird’s natural predator.

The jays did not react to the colored wood, but had similar reactions when a predator was spotted or if a dead jay was found, both signifying a potential danger in the area.

Giraffes and Elephants have also been observed in the wild staying next to deceased members of their herd or family .

Do you think animals and birds mourn, or understand their mortality?

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