Want to Understand Mortality? Look to the Chimps
Maggie Koerth-Baker, New York Times Magazine (June 25, 2013)
Today is the release date for the new Planet of the Apes movie, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
We’ll set aside all the timeline problems and alternative universes this specific reboot created. And no one should ever speak again of Tim Burton’s terrible remake.
What everyone should be discussing is how apes grieve for their dead. The New York Times Magazine ran an article in June 2013 on this topic. The Death Reference Desk has also written about Chimpanzees and grief before, in 2010 and 2009.
You can also read more generally about animals and death here.
Whenever we Humans start discussing our primate cousins and grieving, we run the risk of going on an anthropomorphising rampage. That said, it’s clear that our Great Ape relatives could teach us a few things about understanding mortality and the finality of time.