What do animals do with their dead?

For some animals, the death of a conspecific is a little tinkle of the dinner bell. A lion will approach another lion’s corpse, give it a sniff and a lick, and if the corpse is fresh enough, will start to eat it.

For others, a corpse is considered dangerous and must be properly disposed of. Among naked mole rats, for example, which are elaborately social mammals that spend their entire lives in a system of underground tunnels, a corpse is detected quickly and then dragged, kicked or carried to the communal latrine. And when the latrine is filled, said Paul Sherman of Cornell University, “they seal it off with an earthen plug, presumably for hygienic reasons, and dig a new one.”

The full, truly fascinating article here.

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