Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Cetacean Behavior Toward the Dead and Dying

  • Giovanni Bearzi
  • Lavinia Eddy
  • Sarah Piwetz
  • Melissa A. L. Reggente
  • Bruno Cozzi
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_2023-1

Evolutionary Origin of Grieving Among Mammals

Behavioral patterns and psychological dispositions toward the dead – including grieving, mourning, and bereavement – have been studied thoroughly among humans, but similar behaviors are poorly understood when performed by nonhuman mammals. The shared roots of grieving among humans and other animals were recognized early by Charles Darwin (1872) and the evolutionary meaning and significance of grieving were later elaborated in the work of authors such as John Archer, John Bowlby, and Colin M. Parkes. Their insightful writings explain that grief is ultimately a reaction to a deficit, arising as a by-product of the broadly similar reaction to separation. In other words, grieving is the cost of commitment (Parkes 1972), the downside of attachment and love (Archer 1999), and its emotional responses have evolved from the basic need of maintaining proximity with a partner or offspring. The maladaptive aspects of grieving have been seen as a...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Bearzi
    • 1
  • Lavinia Eddy
    • 1
  • Sarah Piwetz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Melissa A. L. Reggente
    • 1
  • Bruno Cozzi
    • 3
  1. 1.Dolphin Biology and ConservationCordenonsItaly
  2. 2.Texas A&M University at GalvestonGalvestonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food ScienceUniversity of PadovaLegnaroItaly