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squirrel funeral part 2

A little update: A few minutes after I lay the dead squirrel down at the roots of his favorite tree, a young squirrel came hopping across the yard to see what was up. It stopped about three feet away, stood up for a few seconds, then hopped away. Youth's response to death.

Later in the afternoon, a pair of adult squirrels approached the now-cold body. The first one used her hands to sort of fluff his fur, like someone searching a drunk for change or perhaps grooming a dead sibling. When she left, the other approached and lay a stick across the deceased's chest.

If this is not a squirrel funeral, I can't imagine what else it meant.

EDIT: Good news - the one who died wasn't one of my favorites, the crazy-acrobatic one. That silly boy still leaps from tree to tree, wheee!

Best,
Chris

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
subplot2
Jan. 3rd, 2007 03:22 pm (UTC)
Wow.
mckitterick
Jan. 3rd, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
I know!
blzblack
Jan. 3rd, 2007 03:25 pm (UTC)
That's neat. I'd love to have seen that.
mckitterick
Jan. 3rd, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
It pleased me greatly.
silverfae
Jan. 3rd, 2007 06:24 pm (UTC)
Maybe the initial youngster went and scouted out the two to do the ritual?
mckitterick
Jan. 3rd, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
That would be pretty neat, wouldn't it? I love the animal world.
subplot2
Jan. 4th, 2007 06:15 am (UTC)
I'm not familiar enough with ethology to know the latest research on death-response, but here's an article I stumbled across that is worth a cursory flip-through:

You'll need to log into JSTOR
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )