Animals do have tear ducts, and therefore have the ability to produce tears. However, there seems to be a consensus that animals do not produce emotional tears, but rather have ducts to keep eyes moistened. It is obvious that some animals feel sad and mourn, but in my opinion, since we cannot communicate with animals, we would never be able to know if an animal is crying or just has something in their eye.
Most animals do not cry the way that humans do, but they do produce tears. Since tear production is necessary for healthy eyes, most vertebrates are capable of producing tears. Tears are produced in mammals by the lachrymal system, tissues which make water. In land mammals, tears evolved to replace the water bath that the eyes of aquatic animals are constantly surrounded by.
While they may not shed tears, people have observed elephants grieving. They have been seen standing over and caressing the bodies of the dead, even returning to the dead elephant to “pay their respects” so to speak. If an elephant in their herd is sick or hurt, it has been reported that others will try to help the elepant along. Altruism and mourning is rarely reported in animals, so it’s pretty amazing that elephants do these things.
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