An animal behaviour expert has claimed magpies experience grief, hold funeral-type gatherings for their beloved and even lay grass wreaths beside their bodies.
Dr Beckoff of the University of Colorado said that this proves the usually perceived aggressive animal actually has a compassionate side.
This discovery raises the debate whether humans solely have the emotion trait or whether this can be found in animals too.
After observing a “funeral” taking place, Dr Beckoff published the account and received numerous emails from people telling him that they too had seen the same ritual in magpies.
Those who see emotions in animals have been accused of anthropomorphism – the attribution of human characteristics to animals.