Blood Donor Bats
Vampire bats drink the blood of mammals. If a bat does not find a mammal, it goes without a meal for a night. But it takes just three days for bats to starve to death. So if one fails to score a meal, bat-friends in the roost will regurgitate own meal, ensuring its survival. What else are friends for?
No Business Like Monkey Business
Vervet monkeys scream alarms to warn other monkeys of predators, even if it puts them in danger by attracting attention.
In numerous bird species, notably the hornbill, there are ‘helper’ birds that forgo reproduction to assist unrelated parents in the caring of their young.
Elephants explore each other’s mouth-just for friendship. They also walk miles with friends, chattering in 10 octaves. With an advanced sense of altruism, they help each other in distress, care for new mothers who need extra help and grieve for their dead. Elephants even aid other species, including humans, in distress, sometimes at considerable cost to themselves.
A Chimp In Need Is A Chimp Indeed
New research on chimpanzees shows that they can act to help each other selflessly. Chimps cosy up to friends, share food, groom vulnerable areas, fight alongside, act to promote the welfare of friends and return favours at a personal cost. The close and long-term bonds of friendship based on shared trust act as a buffer against stress.
“People speak sometimes about the ‘bestial’ cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts; no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russian literary icon
“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh creator
“Go, sluggard, and learn from the ant”
King Solomon of Israel, 970-931 BCE
“Animals are such agreeable friends-they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.”
George Eliot, 19th century British author
“Dogs never bite me. Just humans”
Marilyn Monroe, Hollywood diva
No Off-Days For Octopus Mommies
The deep-sea octopus mother spends four-and-a-half years atop her eggs after hatching those-protecting them from predators. She doesn’t move, even for a meal, dying in the effort to keep the babies alive.
Guardian Angel Fish
Among Antarctic plunder fish, if a parent is eliminated by natural or manmade actions, an unrelated male protects the egg nest from predators. If something happens to him, a third assumes guardianship.
Doctor Dolphin to the Rescue
Dolphins swim under the sick or injured for hours, pushing them to the surface so that they can breathe.
Bees and Ants Live for Others
Ants, wasps, bees and termites live in highly organised colonies, where most members are sterile or forgo reproduction, serving the select few who lay eggs. The sterile workers are extremely altruistic, devoting their whole lives to building, protecting, foraging, tending and sacrificing themselves for the sake of the colony.
Lost Your Folks? Doggy Daddy Will Look After Everyone
Pups, kittens, baby foxes, tiger cubs, fawns, ducklings or lambs, dogs will adopt orphans of any species in need of care and attention.