Over the years, watching wolves (Canadian Centre for Wolf Research) and other creatures, I have from time to time wondered about actions that seem motivated by "conscience". Dictionary definitions of conscience are (as would be expected) varied, and evolutionary arguments concerning conscience are scattered. Amusingly, an early definition of "ethology" by J.S. Mill refers to matters of moral character. Comparative studies of moral character (conscience, guilt, or whatever) are likely to be as slippery as comparative studies of consciousness. Indeed, conscience, as we normally use the term, probably builds upon the idea of consciousness.
There are many reflex definitions and explanations for conscience (sometimes referred to as self-knowledge: con - science), but I am not aware of much in the way of scholarly treatment. The Moral Animal is one text that is useful.
Perhaps this is too slippery a topic for net conversation, but it might be interesting. I'll leave it at that, and see if anyone wants to join the fray.