HBM038: Do Crows Mourn Their Dead?

Crows have really strange habits around death. When a bird dies, crows gather, squawking loudly and gathering as many other birds as they can find to come and look at the dead body.

Much of what we know about crow funerals comes from the work of John Marzluff, a biologist at the University of Washington in Seattle. He and Kaeli Swift (one of his grad students) are trying to get to the bottom of these strange phenomena using taxidermy crows and masks and Cheetos and raw peanuts.

On this episode of Here Be Monsters, We look at and listen to the strange behaviors of crows and how they might be able to teach humanity about the origins of funerals and emotions.

Many thanks to David Kestenbaum of NPR's Planet Money for his help on a short version of this piece made for radio...keep your ears peeled.

Also, many thanks to Brian Emtman for tipping us off to this story.

Some of the crow sounds in this episode came from Cornell's Macaullay Library. Citation: macaulaylibrary.org/audio/45291http…org/audio/45291

In this episode there are some amazing recordings of funeral practices from around the world, including Laos (LukeIRL), Bali (RTB45), Colombia (renatofarabeuf), and Ghana (Klankbeeld). via Freesound.

Music from Flower Petal Downpour, Serocell, and The Black Spot.

HBM023: The Near Destruction of Rey Jaguar [Extended Cut]

For Mexican Wrestlers, masks are everything. They wear them in the ring, they wear them to the grocery store, they wear them any time they appear in public. No one knows what face lies under that mask, so it makes sense that de-masking a Luchadore or Luchadora is highest taboo in the sport.

In this episode, we travel to Seattle’s South Park neighborhood for Lucha Libre In The Park, a free wrestling event put on by Lucha Libre Volcanica. Costumes, yelling kids, exquisite masks, cross-dressing, motorcycles, bad victory speeches--everything you would expect, and one thing that no one saw coming.

Check out the crazy photos from that night right here

This piece’s shortened form (6 minutes) was entered as a submission in KCRW’s 24-Hour Radio Race. Listen to the original.

And also listen to the other entries!

Music from: Lucky Dragons ||| The Black Spot

Here Be Monsters is now a proud member of the Mule Radio Syndicate, which distributes some other really great podcasts. Check them out at MuleRadio.net.

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