ANSWERS: 60
  • Animals do not commit suicide as humans think of suicide. Some animals do end their lives, but it is from other causes - natural causes. In the case of wolf spiders being devoured by their young, the female is dying because of an inbuilt response - it's not a conscious decision like suicide. The female has simply lived her life and chemicals are released that start to kill her. The babies take advantage! The same thing happens with the female octopus. When her eggs mature, she has lived her life and dies. This actually makes space for the future development of offspring and increases food for them. In addition, the young octopuses don't have to compete with adults who would prey on them, too. http://www.tonmo.com/articles/octosuicide.php
  • This is a very different question that no one can really answer. Its like you know that famous painting with the dogs playin poker! Well we look at it as a masterpiece but have u ever stopped to think that maybe the dogs in that picture are lookin at us thinkin were a masterpiece. Same with animals in my opinion. We dont give animals as much credit as we should! Animals i htink could commit suicide if they wanted to. Not that im disagreeing with ppl who say they cant cuz maybe they cant but we dont no. We odnt no how animals really are. Yes we have scientist who watch over em 24/7 watching theyre every move but no one will ever really no what they do; and why they do it.
    • jerryogah
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  • Animals have been known to starve themselves to death, usually when grieving for a companion. This is known only through anecdotal evidence, but reports are not uncommon.
  • i dont think any one could answer this question as only an animal would no
  • I don't think they actually commit suicide, but I have seen them starve themselves over grief. We did have one horse that was so sick she should have been put down, but the owners wouldn't do it.They kept putting it off saying she might get better. She was in her thirties, couldn't walk, couldn't eat and was allergic to sunlight and bug bites to the point she would be covered in hives. The daughter came for a visit from Callifornia and saw her.The next day they found the horse in her stall with her leg broke. She'd put through the slats and snapped it. I've always felt she did it on purpose so they'd finally do the right thing.
  • i think not but i think they know when they're going to die.
  • I don't think they actually commit the act of suicide as they don't know (at least I don't think they can comprehend the meaning) But I do beleive that they can become depressed which could cause them to become sick resulting in death. In a perfect world this wouldn't happen as all animals should be loved and feel useful as with all humans
  • i dont know about suicide but i can tell you that when you have a pair of love birds and one dies, within weeks the other will die to. they say its from heartbreak, but scientifically i dont know why it is. but its an interesting fact.
  • Humans are animals, and we sometimes commit suicide. I don't think that any other animal does though.
  • They are not that wasteful of life ... they don't suffer the same weakness as humans ... we should learn more from their determination and tolerance sometimes ... **************************
  • To commit suicide requries a fairly high level of intelligence which maybe only humans have. I know contrary to popular beleif lemmings do not commit suicide. The original filming of this did not show that basically the ones that leap ran out of room on the cliff edges.
    • mushroom
      Worse, that film was actually staged. Shame on Uncle Walt!
  • I saw a dog run out in front of a truck and get obliterated. That's suicide if I ever saw it.
  • I honestly don't think animals commit suicide intentionally. I've never seen a kitty cat hanging outside of a window with a noose around its neck.
  • I have rewritten this answer from NO to YES. If like the human an animal wants the surety of death, the animal must do something known to be reliable. Jumping from a cliff might cause death but the possibility of major injury and starving to death is also possible. So might an animal do something comparable to Mel Gibson's character in "Lethal Weapon". Would a depressed jack rabbit challenge a coyote to a fight? Would a gazelle walk into a pride of lions? Finally how many times have naturalists told us they do not know why a group of whales have beached themselves. Disease is often mentioned but is the beach seen as a good place to die or live? So evidence of suicide is going to be very hard to find with other animals eating the evidence.
  • It depends on how you define suicide. See here: http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mbugsuicide.html Some termites will explode their bodies, but only in defense of the nest - their guts are sticky and immobilize the enemy. Some sick animals will also take action to hasten their death.
  • If you mean, "Other than humans, do otherwise healthy and reproductively-capable individuals of any other species perform actions foreseeably guaranteed to result in their immediate death?", the answer is NO. Violate any one of the conditions in the preceding statement, and the answer is YES. Sick or injured animals of many different types will act in such ways as to guarantee a speedier end to their suffering, and this appears to include whale beachings. Whale beachings are also one reason for the qualifier "foreseeable," in that it appears healthy whales may follow a sick leader when the latter beaches--as social animals, they instinctively trust their leader, which under most circumstances would not lead them to their doom, so their unexpected (to them) beaching cannot be considered genuinely suicidal. For that matter, a rabbit that walks out into an open field when there's a hungry owl nearby may be performing an action virtually guaranteed to result in death--but not foreseeably so. Nor would an animal that dies defending its young necessarily be considered suicidal, even if the enemy is something pretty much impossible to defeat; after all, the enemy might retreat if it doesn't seem worth the trouble, so sometimes defense works. The reason for the clause "reproductively-capable" is that there are many social insects with sterile, suicidal soldiers or workers--for example, termite soldiers that explode their bodies, which are filled with sticky guts, immobilizing their enemies in goo. As a final note, the stuff about lemmings jumping off cliffs, of course, is a myth. http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mbugsuicide.html
  • well sure!, you know when your driving down the highway or road, and all of a sudden a rabbit comes out of nowhere and parks it right in front of your car, then you run it over, that is animal suicide.
  • Some do.
  • Yes they do, whales have been known to purposefully beach themselves and when pushed back to sea just turn around and come back. A male praying mantis mates with its partner even though it knows it will die at the end.
  • Lemmings do. Remember that Police song with the lyric, "packed like lemmings into tiny yellow boxes?" It just came into my head when I read your question.
    • mushroom
      The scene in Walt Disney's 1958 "White Wilderness" is considered to have been faked, staged, "creative editing." Even nature films today do this to enhance the "plot."
  • We found a mole once (kind of like a little mouse) and my nephews and I put him in a box so that it could spend the night with us,we gave it food and water in a babyfood jar.The next morning when we woke up,he was head-first in the baby food jar with his little feet sticking up.
    • mushroom
      There's a difference between suicide and poor judgment. Ever find mice floating in a basin they couldn't escape?
  • dont know about animals but a cricket do suicide by jumping on the water manipulated by a parasite called horse hair parasite so it can go out of the crickets body.. though it doesnt sound suicide but homecide :P
  • Well, I'm not sure. But the pheasants near me always seem to have suicidal tendancies. Honestly, you would have thought evolution would have instilled more road sense in them!
  • Yes it has been proven that apes and horses commit suicide. Do your own research if you don't believe me.
  • I don't think intentionally but my Kitten has made some pretty stupid moves in her 3 months of life. I mean why would you try to jump in the oven anyway??
  • im convinced my pet hermit crab killed himself because i tormented him. RIP Elvis. =(
  • I've heard of one animal that commit suicide and that is the scorpion. My father told me that when he was in the army they use to heat a pan and throw the scorpion onto the pan, and the scorpion would litterly "dance himself to death". He would sting himself with his stinger and die. But that joins up with Purplerain's answer to your question:"Sick or injured animals of many different types will act in such ways as to guarantee a speedier end to their suffering..."
  • Based on what biologists use to distinguish humans from animals right now, no. Because one thing humans have that animals don't are intricate emotions, and I've never heard of a suicide that didn't involve someone's emotions, so I don't think so.
  • Lemmings will from time to time.
  • Well, there are whale beachings, and porpoise beachings, which are thought by many to be acts of suicide... In other species, the act of mating results in certain death, which could be considered a suicidal act. Cuttle fish, are one example of this. As far as lemmings, which are often given as an example of a suicidal animal, what is actually happening is that they are in a mass migration and things get in their way, like cliffs and such and they don't realize that falling off would be deadly, so they continue their trek and sometimes die. http://aboutfacts.net/MotherEarth35.htm
  • Animals have been known to sacrifice themselves for the common good (chimps, dolphins and some birds are examples of this). I don't know if I would call it suicide though.
  • i heard that there was a study that showed that a large amount of animals (mammals) kill their babies at birth or ditch them (refuse to bond etc) if they have had an ultra-sound during their pregnancy.. (o . O) do u think that the ultra-sound (perhaps the radiation) is a valid link?? maybe its a chemical thing. there have been sudgestions that this may be connected to human post natal depression.. was wondering wot peoples opinion on this was caus i just read this n found it very intresting..
  • Points for an interesting question... I don't think they commit suicide....but I do believe that when nature calls for it, some species will self-destruct...but there isn't a mood disorder or rational thinking process behind it.
  • i think squirrels do.
  • bigfoot did
  • Never thought about this
  • lol... idk why i just find this funny i can imagine a deer trying to ram its head into a tree loll
  • i have heard that if a doves mate dies then the other may stop eating until starvation
  • well the lemmings did, they all jumped over that cliff together. group animal suicide.
  • Scorpions kill themselves before they let some other animal defeat them...but i think a scorpion is a bug not an animal right so it doesn't count...
  • No, but they might die sooner if they are very depressed all of the time.
  • I dunno for sure, but back in the day when they had Monkey Island at the San Fransisco Zoo, they couldn't get the monkeys from killing themselves. They'd either fall to their deaths from the peak of the island or drown in the moat. There are reasons why that zoo has a bad reputation.
  • I don't think so, I may be wrong but animals don't have that much depth of thought to contemplate suicide.
  • sometimes it is a matter if they know better...in stories like "The Birds" they committed suicide but that is a story....(they even made a Birds movie too!) if they don't know better than it is not suicide...
  • can they kill themselves? yes. but committing suicide implies they know what they are doing. we dont know.
  • Whales get themselves to the shores,and wait there untill they die.(I've heard of swans too) but I dont know if I can call that a suicide or not.
  • As its already been said numeruos times, How do we know what is in a singular animals' conscience? Some penguins mate for life, and when the spouse penguin dies, some have been known to quit eating, eventually dying of starvation. Is it sadness or suicide?
  • i belive they do one time i was doing a paper route and the dog was running beside the car and all of a sudden he ran right under my right front tire
  • yes, they can. there is a story that a lion and its hunting partner were out hunting. and they almost caught a wild boar but at the last second it ran into its den. the partner went after the boar after hunger. the partner got stuck in the den and the other lion tried to pull him out but stopped after the partner roared of pain. the partner later died asphyxiated and the lion barely managed to pull out its partner's corpse. sooner, the lion was found dead next to the body of the other. he refused to go hunting and died of starvation.
  • its really sad. the poor lemmings. theyre actually really cute. for some reason, ive always pictured them as birds....god knows where that came from! it is really shocking though, that disney did that.
  • Ive heard that animals who receive ultrasounds when they are pregnant almost always reject the baby when it is born.. So maybe animals, like people, are effected by chemical & hormonal inbalances. This could explain suicides also. I duno, jus adding my bit.
  • Sure. Deer and the like do it all the time in Montana. They see how bleak it is there and go rushing headlong into the oncoming traffic, committing suicide in the process. You can see it all from the road kill stains on the pavement when you drive through that state.
  • They are called lemmings. Zoologists studied the oddity that is the mass suicide these little rodents commit. It is believed they thin their own numbers when they get too numerous.
  • Did you ever hear of a lemming?
  • some animals do kill there selves wen they ar suffering but wether it is considered suicide is anoth matter to versions of the this animals ar a type of scorpion will stab its self repeatedly in the head when it feels extreme whether discomfit and believe it of not horses wen they are in imense pain like say they have brokin a leg they wot let it jheal cos they always on the move then the pain will be unbrile for them so a horse may (this is true bye the way ) start bashing its head of a wall till it dies witch is why they choose to shoot them because as you could amagin its not a pritty sight when you come in to see that lol
  • Yes we do.
  • Over the course of the last couple of months, I've had several birds (fully capable of flying) walk right into the road in front of my car (doing only 25mph or so) and when I swerve to avoid hitting them, they match my movement. I swear they want to die.
  • Why do you suppose fish fanciers have to keep their aquariums covered?
  • I'm assuming that abused animals commit suicide. The rationality is in the core symptoms of anhedonia. From my view, when cats get rejected by their owners, this decreases the interest in pleasurable activities. When I'm driving on the road, I see lively cats that get out of my way to avoid getting hit. Some cats I have ran over do not even bother moving. Chances are, they were rejected cats with behavioral disorders.

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