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Animal rights cashing in on homo Naledi burials

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From National Geographic:

Humans and our closest ancestors, however, are not the only species to recognize and respond to death in specific ways. “Apes have an understanding that death is irreversible,” says primatologist Frans de Waal of Emory University. When they see a dead group member, “they’re affected by it and they watch over it and sometimes try to revive it, touch it, and groom it.”

Cats often do the same thing. They don’t know that death is irreversible and it is unlikely that chimps do. “Irreversible” is an abstract concept, like the number 23.

Mourning behaviors are common in chimpanzees. Animals will stop eating, observe a corpse in silence, and even carry dead infants for days or weeks. Moving bodies or burying them is not a typical primate behavior, de Waal says, perhaps because most primates don’t stay in one place for long. “Now, if you live in a settlement where 50 other people live, you can’t just leave a corpse there,” he notes.

Aw come on! People could ignore it if they didn’t care. Some have done so.

The obvious purpose of all this is to efface differences between humans and animals, and why would that be?

Are we really listening to this stuff ? Notice the too-easy slide from humans to (only questionable) “separate species” of humans (Neanderthals, Naledi) to apes. No wonder everyone is putting off discussion of what speciation even means.

Might that be part of why Nature did not want the story? Too many hard questions that don’t suit them?

See also: Further to homo Naledi not published in Nature

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