Animals committing suicide

Prometheus

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I always thought that a scorpion was immune to it's own poison :confused:

ah - here we go http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scorpion#Suicide_misconception - sorry, story isn't true ;)
Nothing is completely immune... except maybe the Komodo Dragon nasty thing. I wonder why they would sting each other if they can't really hurt each other. :confused:
Hmm, I guess my dad's been bull****ting me all this time.

I will never trust the bastard again.
Shame on you. :p Don't read it without taking the "appear" in context.

Sorry to hear that Hungrylion. Was he chased by something perhaps?
 

Nick333

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If you think about it very technically humans are classified as animals so therefore if you have to think about it on technicalo terms animals do commit suicide.
Yes, well said. The question should be do any other animals commit suicide. ;)
 

adamr

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No, we just have bigger, more advanced brains. We make more advanced tools and know how to plan.

But animals do kill and deliberately injure themselves.

Suicide
honestly have not heard of any accounts where an animal injured or killed itself deliberately, do you have sources to back this up... I have heard of a dog that got scared of fireworks and tried to escape its confinements and ended up just killing itself by trying to go through a gate or something …
 

adamr

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Yes, well said. The question should be do any other animals commit suicide. ;)
....!? … geez ok for those that are concerned about technicalities I was referring to animals excluding humans … (you all certainly knew I was referring to this, why concentrate on this technicality)
 
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Prometheus

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Animals merely do what their "programming" tells them to do. I don't think suicide is or is not a choice for them.
 

adamr

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true .. but a normal human being can decide one day to just pop himself ... how many times have we seen this ... no former medical history of mental disorders ...
 

Prometheus

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Humans can choose between actions and consequences. Animals can't and act on instinct. No, I don't think they can commit suicide.
 

noxibox

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honestly have not heard of any accounts where an animal injured or killed itself deliberately, do you have sources to back this up...
Cats choose when they are ready to die.

The link I gave specifically refers to animals deliberately injuring themselves.

Primates definitely show indications of making choices. Even dogs appear to do so.

Go speak to vets. They can no doubt tell you about instances of animals killing themselves.
 

Edwe

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Humans can choose between actions and consequences. Animals can't and act on instinct. No, I don't think they can commit suicide.
The paradox in that statement is, that if we assume animals act solely on instinct and are incapable of abstract thought, then we automatically rule out the ability of animals to commit suicide, since suicide implies conscious intent. Conscious intent, however, cannot be assumed unless we first assume that an animal that causes its own death, has committed suicide intentionally.

In other words, if we dismiss all actions of animals as instinctive, there is nothing left for us to observe which can prove otherwise.

I hope what I have said makes some sense. I find my thoughts difficult to put into words! ;)
 

Nanfeishen

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Animals have an inate sense of self preservation, so commiting suicide is not in their nature.
Humans on the other hand, have something called emotions, which unfortunately are more of a hinderance than a strength.
The problem is humans tend to rely on these emotions too often , and sometimes these emotions become warped, or faulty, and cause the individual to contemplate the future of their existence as being bleaker than what it actually is, then ....BLAM ,..... game over.
And before i get slated or flamed for seeming calous, i have lost 1 family member, and 3 friends due to suicide, one by over-indulgence.
Just because they didnt have the sense to talk about their problems. :(
 

Prometheus

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The paradox in that statement is, that if we assume animals act solely on instinct and are incapable of abstract thought, then we automatically rule out the ability of animals to commit suicide, since suicide implies conscious intent. Conscious intent, however, cannot be assumed unless we first assume that an animal that causes its own death, has committed suicide intentionally.

In other words, if we dismiss all actions of animals as instinctive, there is nothing left for us to observe which can prove otherwise.

I hope what I have said makes some sense. I find my thoughts difficult to put into words! ;)
I understand what you saying in a sense. I merely state what I believe is likely to be the case. Everything we have seen so far points to animals acting on impulses and not having a real sense of being alive. We may always find evidense they can control their own testiny but it is not likely. Seems the logical but not necessarily correct conclusion.
 

adamr

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An animal gnawing its paw to get out of a trap can be seen as a mechanism of survival rather than deliberate self inflicted pain.

Like Debbie2 and the posters after her have pointed out, animal needs to be conscious of death ... an end to its existence. Certainly if they don’t have this realisation that there is an end to their existence then suicide in the animal domain (excluding humans) does not exist

Having said that do elephants perceive death? they are aware when one of their herd members is dead ... they sort of "mourn" a members death ... ive seen this on a documentary and it was quite intriguing
 

werner

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just to recap on the bees part, they sting things all the time. the sting doesnt fall out. it is how they defend themselves.
the problem comes with us humans, our skin is thick enough that the sting gets stuck, and in their panic to escape they practically end up ripping their guts out to get away once they have stung us, hence they die.

as such, i dont think they know in advance that stinging us will kill them, after all, they have stung many things in their life already and survived.
you can think of it as an "oopsie" moment
 

noxibox

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Like Debbie2 and the posters after her have pointed out, animal needs to be conscious of death ... an end to its existence. Certainly if they don’t have this realisation that there is an end to their existence then suicide in the animal domain (excluding humans) does not exist

Having said that do elephants perceive death? they are aware when one of their herd members is dead ... they sort of "mourn" a members death ... ive seen this on a documentary and it was quite intriguing
At least one of leopards or cheetahs mourn when their young die. The mother at least. Primates also show similar behaviour. Domestic cats who are dying of an illness show awareness that their death is near.
 

Prometheus

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Having said that do elephants perceive death? they are aware when one of their herd members is dead ... they sort of "mourn" a members death ... ive seen this on a documentary and it was quite intriguing
At least one of leopards or cheetahs mourn when their young die. The mother at least. Primates also show similar behaviour. Domestic cats who are dying of an illness show awareness that their death is near.
Some animals mourn for a short while. They acknowledge death. Elephants actually stop at old carcasses and fiddle with it. Instead of acknowledging death they seem to acknowledge their existance.
 

Prometheus

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just to recap on the bees part, they sting things all the time. the sting doesnt fall out. it is how they defend themselves.
the problem comes with us humans, our skin is thick enough that the sting gets stuck, and in their panic to escape they practically end up ripping their guts out to get away once they have stung us, hence they die.

as such, i dont think they know in advance that stinging us will kill them, after all, they have stung many things in their life already and survived.
you can think of it as an "oopsie" moment
They die when they sting any mammal or bird. The sting is a one time defence mechanism that is supposed to tear out and pump toxin into the victim which is why they rarely sting when not with the hive. There are other types of bees and wasps that have permanent stingers but they generally live in small groups or alone so they need it to protect themselves and not the hive. There is also one nasty hornet that use it to attack other bee hives instead.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Characteristics_of_common_wasps_and_bees
 
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