Most humans are convinced that they do not resemble animals in their behaviour, and culture, they believe animals to be lacking the emotions that humans experience. But did you know that chimps are actually closer genetically to humans than they are to any other ape?
Everyone knows that virtually all animals sleep, but do they realise that there is substantial proof that many animals also dream? While sleeping humans experience a condition known as REM or Random Eye Movement, this betrays the way in which a human relives much of the experiences during the day in order to make sense of them. Most mammals, and even some lizards have been documented as having experienced REM, and anyone with a pet cat or dog will have heard them kick, whine or mew during their "nightmares"
Is it love that seperates us from the animals? That is doubtfull... What else would make swans, hawks, seals and even pigeons mate for life? What else but maternal love would cause a tiny mother herbivore to attack a baboon that is twice her size from carrying away her child, or a kangaroo from staying alone with her dead son. Emotions such as love and anger are just another part of our bodies, and therefore shared by most other animals.
Murder, Masturbation, Self Harming
It may sound weird but animals do display these traits, but only when they're in captivity, like in a zoo. Perhaps in our long search for safety we have found it at the expense of our freedom? Animals in boredom have bitten themselves and each other. Sexually frustrated animals ranging from apes, lions and even dolphins have been seen to masturbate. Two opposite gender monkeys who had got into the habit of masturbating were introduced to each other as breeding partners; they just sat masturbating in different corners!
Helping the Helpless
One of the most admired traits in humans, protecting the old the young and the sick. Elephants demonstrate this trait, as do buffalo: When a baby buffalo was threatened the entire herd turned on the attacking lions, who barely escaped with their lives. Buffalo have also shown considerable intelligence in recognising that young lions grow into dangerous creatures when one herd methodically killed every cub in their local pride.
one family of elephants have been seen gathering at a cave for generations, where they go to collect salt by raking the walls with their tusks. In the footage of a documentary, a small tuskless elephant was shown whirling its trunk around with boredome, in the same way a human child might scuff their shoes while their mother chats to someone
When coming across the bones of a dead elephant, a herd will mourn for it by stroking and lifting the bones.
Most animals have some for of aural communication, the most notable of which is the complex whistles and squeaks of the dolphin's and the far reaching low noises of long distance elephant calls.
It is said that there is only one aspect of the human condition that seperate us from animals and that is the ability to communicate abstract thoughts. This gives us the ability to pass on to succsesive generations such abtract concepts as the cosmos, quantum physiscs and the meaning of life.
And some people don't even do that....