Can animals cry from pain or emotion? Crying is an innate, primal characteristic of us humans. The tears from our eyes signal sorrow, pain, anger, disappointment and helplessness, but also compassion and joy - and are therefore also a means of communicating with each other. Even cutting onions makes us cry. But what about the production of tears in non-human animals? After all, we also talk about crocodile tears - and some dog owners also believe they can recognize when their dog is sad and crying.
Animals have tear ducts - but can they cry like humans? In this article, I would like to explain whether animals can also shed tears due to emotions. Let's go!
Can animals also shed tears?
The basic answer to this question is YES! But not for the sentimental reasons mentioned above, which often make us humans cry.
Why do animals "cry"?
The eyes of many animals produce tears in order to Keeping eyeballs moistto supply the cornea with nutrients or to respond to environmental stimuli to be able to. The latter, for example, to flush out foreign bodies from the eye.
And if we seem to recognize crying in our dogs, then apart from the typical, dried tear fluid, there may also be an eye inflammation, a blocked tear duct or an allergy - i.e. an eye infection. health reason - be the cause of this.
With crocodiles, however, the tears also come from anatomical reasons shed. Simply because their upper jaw presses on the gland behind the third eyelid when they eat. As a result, their eyes secrete a secretion. This is also the background to the expression "shedding crocodile tears", which describes a feigned sadness and dismay.
So our animal friends shed Reflexive tears - but no emotional body fluid. Animals do have feelingslike fear, joy and sorrow - but they do not cry out of emotion.
Tip: Can animals laugh like humans? I have dealt with the answer to this question in a separate article. Please take a look there too.
We humans are the only animals who cry emotionally
In all animals (whether human or non-human), the secretion of tears is an important protective function of the eye. However, according to current scientific knowledge, crying from pain, disappointment or emotion is a exclusively human characteristic. It is an original form of social behavior for us humans. But animals "cry" differently.
"The lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness and misery."Charles Darwin (more under Animal welfare quotes)
In animals, tears are more likely to roll down for the physiological or health reasons explained above. They show their emotions in other ways and quite clearly through their body language. However, if they could let their emotional tears flow freely, as we do, then the path to Cruelty to animals by man is probably much stonier.
I hope I have been able to help you with this article about animal crying. Do you have any questions or suggestions? Then I look forward to your comment.