Nathaniel Scharping provides us with a unique insight to the social psychology of the animal kingdom. In his example, animal researchers have recorded some unique activity with the snub-nosed monkey population. This observation relates to the creatures and their psycho-social reaction to death amongst adult communities. Correlations between Elephants, Gorillas, Dolphins and Magpies are made in the article.
One such group in China observed the process by which a female mate to a tribe leader became ill and eventually died. The tribe leader provided additional attention once she had become visibly weakened. Once she had then passed away, the leader observably mourned and waited to see if she had been temporarily stunned or deceased. Once the creature came to the assumption his partner was deceased, he mourned and then moved on with his tribe. The very next day, though researchers had buried the creature, the living mate returned to the spot to mourn his deceased partner.
This is observed to be a new observation for snub nosed monkeys, but is not new in the general view of the animal kingdom. Partially this is due to limited studies amongst this genre of animal, and not a newly formed concept. The ramifications are important according to the author because it shows some species likely have an innate understanding of when life is present and when it is not. Social bonding’s were also observed, and the before and after observations provided clues to the psychology of the animal intellect.
The author goes on to explain that in other primate studies, additional grooming within tribes occurs often after a passing of one of their members. This is a telltale sign of an emotional impact and cognitive awareness. This also has been observed to incite emotions of rage and compassion amongst the animals studied. This shows a correlation between human and animal experience, though a line should still be drawn between the two Nathaniel says.