The Sad Reason Some Primate Moms May Carry Around Their Dead Infants - ScienceAlert
Sep 19, 2021 55 secs

"Our study indicates that primates may be able to learn about death in similar ways to humans: It might take experience to understand that death results in a long-lasting 'cessation of function', which is one of the concepts of death that humans have," says anthropologist Alecia Carter, from University College London (UCL) in the UK.

While it's difficult to ascertain whether or not primates actually understand that their infants have died, the research showed that younger mothers were more likely to carry dead infants and that traumatic deaths – such as accidents or infanticides – were less likely to lead to ICC.

"Our study also shows that, through experience with death and external cues, primate mothers may gain better awareness of death and therefore 'decide' not to carry their dead infant with them, even if they may still experience loss-related emotions," says biological anthropologist Elisa Fernández Fueyo from UCL.

It's possible that early humans treated infant deaths in the same way as we see primates handling them here and that the rituals around death that we have in the modern day evolved from that point.

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