Okay this is true, I know it because the HIStory Channel never lies. There's this parasite, loves spiders innards, and when it burrows into the stomach parts the spider starts to feel poorly. This parasite is called a leech-miasis. So it starts to get fat inside the spider until the poor insect is in agonies of pain. Now, the spider lives with a seeming knowledge that it will die if it falls into water. But I saw it jump right into a pool of water with what (anthropomorphically) looked like purpose. Surely it knew it was carrying a parasite? I don't know, but somehow must've known it would die in the effort, and chose death rather than live with such pain. The film showed how the parasite crawled out of the spider as it died.
If true, what does the ability of other animals to understand suicide tell us about life? Even more poinant, what does it say about sacrifice, not just blind instinctual action?
Remember the elephant matriarch who threw herself in front of a pack of wild dogs to save her sister? No, not to distract, she tried that. She tossed her weight onto the dogs by throwing her immense bulk onto the ground. They tore her up pretty badly but she accomplished what seemed her goal: saved her sister. Gave her life. Just laid down. I know it sounds (again) very personally anthropomorphic but what a concept - humanity in other animals.
I like it. Might mean there's hope for us.