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Both elephants and humans perform rituals when deaths occur.

However, I do not see any evolutionary benefit of this. The rituals take time, which apparently could be better spent hunting, foraging, traveling, mating, or grazing.

I am interested to know if these behaviours have any significance and whether they confer any kind of survival advantage.

A cursory google revealed nothing about this.

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  • $\begingroup$ Good read: bbc.com/future/story/20120919-respect-the-dead $\endgroup$ – Devashish Das Aug 21 '15 at 4:45
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is more the realm of anthropology. No, there is no Anthropology.SE and yes there is "evolution" in the question, but those two statements are not a reason to believe that all anthropologists are hiding at Biology.SE and that every question about evolution is on-topic here. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Aug 21 '15 at 6:26
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    $\begingroup$ @AliceD It's not just about anthropology, because elephants have death rituals as well. Would it be best if I only ask how elephant death rituals originated? $\endgroup$ – Kelmikra Aug 21 '15 at 17:17
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    $\begingroup$ @Kyth'Py1k I would suggest that you modify your question such that it is about animal behaviour. Please try adding details and if possible some more examples/references to support the point. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Aug 21 '15 at 19:15
  • $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG In what way is it not about animal behavior? The question is about death rituals, which is an animal behavior. Also, what point are you talking about? I am not trying to make a point in the question; I'm just asking a question. $\endgroup$ – Kelmikra Aug 22 '15 at 2:11

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