I often see various things popping up as some supposed cited source of ritualistic behavior in animals such as Jane Goodall seeing chimpanzees dancing before waterfall, or a bunch of cats all in one tree staring at the moon and so on. Much of it also seems fake. Such as elephants waving branches at the moon seems to be cited a lot but seems to all be trust being placed in Pliny the Elder actually seeing this but I can’t find anyone claiming to have seen it themselves.
I was thinking back to previous podcasts on how genes may influence the likelihood of someone being religious. So while I know there is no religious behavior in animals, I was wondering if there was anything that talks about how religion could evolve through certain traits of animals now. Such as could elephants morning their dead, and things such as elephants burying various corpses they find , and any work done on their genetics, show any reason for a instinct becoming a ritual even after it has little use becoming a foundation for a proto-faith.
Now I think like with many things , the act of elephants burying dead corpses could simply be them trying to remove attention from predators or scavengers. This thread is not animal specific just using them as examples of my question.