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12 Facts That Prove Animals Can Be Even More Humane Than We Are

Mood-swings, sleep-talking, gaining weight under stress — these are just a few of many things that we thought were different about humans and animals. It turns out, we’re far from being unique, because many animals might experience feelings similar to humans.

We at Bright Side want to share 12 amazing facts that prove animals are just like us.

1. Elephants mourn for their loved ones for years.

The pics of a baby elephant, that just had lost its mother, grieving over her body shook the whole world. According to researchers observations, elephants can go through a massive amount of stress when losing loved ones, and might mourn them even after several months. If elephants come near the place of their loved one’s death, they might stop and stay silent for a moment, and that can last for several minutes.

2. Chimpanzees feel empathy, researchers assume.

Studies have shown that chimpanzees show empathetic behavior — they might share and understand the emotions of others — but just like with humans, the level of compassion of each individual can be different. According to research published in the Nature Communications journal, after a conflict, chimpanzees may impulsively come and comfort the distressed parties of the fight.

3. Mice can have dozens of facial expressions.

Mice might express emotions in a way that is similar to humans — according to scientists from McGill University, mice that are in pain have several facial expressions. Also, apparently mice can communicate their pain visually and read each other’s emotions.

4. Apparently, dolphins can sleep-talk.

Several dolphins at the French aquatic park Planète Sauvage were recorded mimicking whale noises while sleeping. According to French researchers, dolphins were only able to hear whale sounds during the daytime shows, so they were “saving” these sounds and reproducing them at night as a possible version of sleep-talking.

5. Pigeons can behave irrationally, just like humans.

As it turns out, pigeons might like gambling and sometimes can fall for riskier options, according to a study conducted at the University of Kentucky. These birds sometimes tend to stick to a more difficult task to get a snack, rather than switch to an easier task with the same reward — this behavior seems to be similar to humans, according to researchers.

6. Cats might also put on weight when they’re depressed.

One of the reasons that cats put on weight may be cases of stress, anxiety, and unhappiness — that is, a drastic change in weight may be connected to the emotional state of the animal. The same thing happens with humans. Nevertheless, if your cat has gained weight, it’s still better to visit a vet and check its health condition.

7. Tamarin monkeys might really like talking.

Apparently, tamarin monkeys seem to really enjoy communication. According to a study in the journal of Zoo Biology, they have a very complex system of whispers, squeaks, and creaks, and might even be the only animals that can whisper like humans.

8. Rats can drive cars.

Researchers at the University of Richmond found out that rats can drive cars, steer the wheel, and control the moving process. That means that rats might allegedly have greater abilities and can accomplish more complex tasks than scientists ever thought, according to New Scientist.

9. Cows can experience mood swings too, researchers say.

The behavior of cows becomes less predictable once they’re grown up, scientists from the University of British Columbia say. As an example, some cows will explore a new environment, a new object, or a new human right away, but during other days they’ll stay standing on the same place during the whole test.

10. Dogs might enjoy music.

The assumption that dogs like music is not news — many owners see their dogs singing and even dancing along. A study conducted by the Scottish SPCA and the University of Glasgow showed that classical music might calm down and relax dogs, and reggae and rock can relieve stress and lower their heart rates. Researchers assume that it’s because this type of music has a rhythm similar to the dogs’ heart rate.

11. Monkeys share like humans, scientists report.

Primatologists at Yerkes discovered new evidence that monkeys might not only collaborate to search for food, but they will also share the results of their efforts with others. They might do it for uncertain benefits, but, presumably, because of sensitivity to what others might want and need, and a sense of mutual support.

12. Beluga whales supposedly value culture and ancestral roots.

Studies have found that beluga whales tend to create complex societies, understand and appreciate culture (meaning information or behavior patterns that are shared within a group of animals), and also honor and value ancestors and family bonds. Along with the fact that whale calves stay with their mothers for over a year, it shows how similar people and whales are.

Do you know of any other facts about the human-like behavior of animals that we could add to this list? We’d be happy to hear from you in the comment section below!