Science - Nature
By: - at July 9, 2013

10 Most Emotional Animals

emotional intelligence stagesPeople, no doubt, have emotions. Happiness, grief, sorrow, loneliness and are a whole bunch of emotions experienced by humans. But did you ever think that animals would display emotions in a very similar way that humans do? Rene Descartes once said that animals were just automata: red-blooded machines without thoughts or wishes.

However, there have been studies that prove that animals have affluent emotional lives as well as the sense of knowing right from wrong. From dogs being able to detect diseases to bats, dolphins, whales, frogs, and various rodents using high-frequency sounds to find food, to communicate, and to navigate, below are the ten most emotional animals ever listed in history.

10)  Elephants Empathize and They Have Burials Too!
Elephant researcher Iain Douglas-Hamilton and a friend were watching elephants in the Samburu National Reserve in Northern Kenya and they noticed a teenaged elephant female, named Babyl who was walking very slowly. They said that she’d been crippled so the other members of her herd never felt the need of leaving her behind. By observing, they came to a conclusion that the herd would walk a while and would stop to check on Babyl. That behavior is just really similar with that of people. They make sure that no one gets left behind.

Elephant group

Another surprising thing is that they also have burials! I mean not with the coffin and all but they do have a ritual. It has been said that when a member of a troop dies, the ones that were left by their beloved member would “mourn” by “burying” the body with leaves and even grass. They would look after it for a week! Just like us, we mourn for a departed loved one and set a wake for at least a week. One more amazing thing about this is that, we visit the grave sites of our loved ones and elephants do too! Believe it or not but, the bones of dead elephants are visited by elephants after even a few years after its death.

9)  Proven Guilty!
Puppy eyesThose big puppy eyes would let you know if your dog has done something wrong. According to a couple of researches and surveys from dog owners, they said that they feel guilty and act strangely after doing something bad because they know that they will get in trouble. Dogs connect anger with trouble, and that’s what we humans exactly do too. The only difference is that the idea of correcting what wrongdoings they’ve done before should be corrected, if not repeated, in the future. The only thing that they understand is that when they hear their owner gasp, walk with heavier footsteps or deep breaths of disappointment, they would have to get out of their owner’s way or act as if they really regret what they’ve done.

Also, in another site which talks about dog’s behavior, seventy four percent from their survey agrees and believes that dogs feel guilty. The owner says that we behave in a particular way when we feel guilty. Dogs behave in a similar way in the same circumstances. Just like us, when we know that we’ve done something unreasonable, we show that we feel guilty in order for the other person to feel like we are aware of what we did wrong and that we feel bad about it. This behavior, both in dogs and humans, make us feel better about ourselves and make the other person give a lighter punishment.

8)  Polyandry in Birds? Yes it is Happening! With Jealousy on the Side…
Some of us would think that polyandry or polygamy is only for people who have religion which allows such practice. Another turnaround for this is that female birds are the ones who have different mating partners making its children have different fathers. When the male goes out to look for food for the family, the female has the advantage of looking for another partner. Also, when males get back to their nest after hunting for food and they found out about it, they break the beaks of the female and remove their feathers.

Red-necked Phalarope (phalaropus Lobatus):
Red-necked Phalarope (phalaropus Lobatus)

One example of a species which takes polyandry to the extremes is the female Red Phalarope. This species spends a week or so with a male. She then courts the male and lays eggs in its nest. When the nest is full, the female begins to search for another male. She does not care for its young and flies south long before its eggs hatch.

You see, it’s not just in humans but also in animals. The thing is, it’s more of an extreme thing since they could have as many as they could as long as they have enough to feed their young.

7)  Generosity and Kindness Among Dolphins
People usually feel obligated to be kind and generous when the need for the situation arises. It’s like when a person sees a homeless person in the middle of the road and it is freezing cold out, he or she would want to help that person and do any kind gesture that the situation suggests. Even dolphins actually help not only their fellow dolphins but also human beings. There have been several news articles published stating that dolphins save humans who are almost eaten by hammerhead sharks when they’re out diving or surfing in the open sea.

Dolphins Swimming

There was one story published in the book Chicken Soup for the Soul about this woman who has been floating for hours after a shipwreck in the ocean. She felt a force trying to push her in another direction, opposite from where she is floating to. She then opened her eyes to see that it was a dolphin. She was startled at first but she calmed down when she saw the dolphin’s eyes. It was staring right through her as if signaling that she should trust it. She then was very thankful about how a dolphin saved her life. This is truly amazing!

6)  Fruit Flies Might Have the Case of Being Alcoholics!
We humans have the tendency to drink liquor whenever the opportunity presents itself. Any reason to celebrate will give us the chance to drink, but we do drink too when we are depressed over having a broken heart. However, we are not only the ones who drink to celebrate or to forget, fruitflies drink away their sadness too.

Fruit fly

There has been an experiment that tested when a male fruit fly is rejected by a female fruit fly. They placed 2 drinks in a room, one with no alcohol and the other with alcohol. Rejected males tend to be happier with the second option. The thing is, female fruit flies do not like to mate for the second time after recently mating with another male.

On the other side of using alcohol, it’s actually good for the fruit flies. Mom fruit flies lay their eggs on alcohol because it’s toxic for the wasps.

5)  Superstitious Pigeons
Despite the new era we have now, some of us still believe in superstitions. Pigeons do, too. B. F. Skinner, a famous psychologist did some research about pigeons. He put them in a box with food and then they ate the food with no hesitation. Pigeons did not know how to get more food, but they believe that certain actions would bring more food out of nowhere. One instance is that a pigeon was spinning in a circle and viola, the food just arrived. Pigeons did not know that food will arrive even if they don’t spin in circles.

Superstitious Pigeon

4)  Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold
Tigers, like humans would seek revenge when they feel bullied. Here’s a story of one tiger’s revenge. One Christmas Eve, a group of three went to the zoo and made fun of a tiger. The tiger escaped and hunted down those three people.

Another event was when the famous poacher Vladimir Markov was killed in 1997. He was a famous hunter. One day, he was not home but the tiger that he shot followed Markov’s scent. He then tore everything in Markov’s house and waited patiently for his prey.

3)  Kind-hearted Rats
Even if rats are all those rude adjectives rolled into one, they have one side that makes scientists wonder about their intelligence. There was one experiment including two rats. One was placed on a cage and the other was left free. The scientists observed how the free rat would react to this situation. After a few minutes, he started to try to let his friend out.


He even gave his friends some treats outside the cage. Just like Cinderella’s little helpers, he just wanted to free his friend. In another experiment, hungry rats were placed in a box and would only be fed if they pulled a lever that would shock the other rats. They refused to do so! This just proves that rats are kind- hearted deep down.

2)  Bee Calculators
According to studies, bees can actually calculate faster than a computer. They can compute the shortest distance to transfer to another flower at random routes. The bees seem to know that the square, triangle and hexagon are the only self- tessellating regular polygons. They do know this because of constructing hexagonal prism cells in their hives. It is possible that because the busy bees work too much on making the hive, they got a way on how to make things easier. They do not know how to calculate exactly nor do they need formulas in order to make a hive but they do it almost all of their lifetime and that’s why, out of routine, managed to solve “the traveling salesmen problem.”

Bee on a yellow flower

1)  Lonely Red Foxes
There is this true story that went viral on the Internet where a red fox was burying its mate after it has been killed by a cougar. The red fox covered the dead body with twigs and dirt, looked around and patted the soil to fully cover the body. The red fox walked away, with obvious sadness reflected on his face. A lot of animals actually have this behavior.

Red Fox Walking through grass

Magpies also do a simple funeral service for their dead family. Even a gorilla was caught trying to let his dead mate eat food even if she’s already gone. When the gorilla realized that his mate is dead, he howled really loud and banged his chest.

These are touching stories all over the world proving once again that humans are not the only ones capable of feeling and thinking. Emotions are not only created for humans.





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