Can bettas mourn?
i know it's one of those things that go back and forth, about how bettas either do, or don't feel emotions as we do, but my crew has made me think long and hard about that.
last year, i had a female crowntail named Freya. she was a little thing, and looked like she had plenty of room in a half-gallon bowl, which i housed her in at first because she was so tiny. i had to crush her pellets, until a member on another forum gave me some New Life Spectrum Grow pellets. after getting her on those, she grew a little bit, but still remained pretty small. she soon moved to a 2 gallon Kritter Keeper, which she ADORED to no end! throughout her life, she lived next to Cup, with a barrier between them, but i'd remove it a few times a day to give them exercise, and i noticed a difference in them both. Cup's flaring turned from aggressive, to flirty, to just showing off and not even flaring at all.
well, last Halloween, Freya passed away from unknown causes. it was bloat-related, i know that, but i never figured out what did it. she'd get fatter every now and then, but i was told it was just her being eggy, so i never thought much of it. after she passed, i noticed a change in Cup. the barrier was removed, but no one was there, and i could tell he noticed that. after that, his flaring was always aggressive, to the point that he'd ram the side of his tank, so i had to be careful about how long i let him flare. he'd also not flare at all for females, and would just swim to the other side of his tank and ignore them.
then, with Theo's recent passing, i've noticed a change in HIS neighbor, Ichi. Ichi's the delta i got, soon after the Tsunami in Japan, and named after my friend, who was MIA for weeks before they found him, thankfully alive. Ichi and Theo lived next to each other, with no barrier between them. i made that choice, after seeing that Ichi didn't mind Theo at all. when i changed everyone up, i noticed how depressed Ichi was, and moved him back to his spot soon after losing Cup. Ichi stopped his tail biting when he was back in his spot, but started up again after Theo passed, to an extent i'd only seen in Dante, my first Delta.
that makes me think.... did Cup mourn the loss of Freya? is Ichi mourning the loss of Theo? if not, then why the sudden, drastic changes in them, after losing their neighbors? i know animals CAN mourn, but can Bettas mourn?