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Category: Animals

Dogs prefer to poop on a north-south axis, in alignment with Earth’s magnetic field

PBS »

Dogs use the Earth’s magnetic field when they’re relieving themselves. Not only that, but canines choose to do so in a north-south axis, a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Zoology says.

The study suggests that dogs are sensitive to small variations in Earth’s magnetic field. After examining 70 dogs — made up of 37 breeds — over two years, 1,893 defecations and 5,582 urinations, researchers found that under “calm magnetic field conditions,” dogs preferred to “excrete with the body being aligned along the north-south axis,” avoiding east-west altogether. Dogs were observed in a free-roaming environment, meaning they were not leashed and not influenced by walls or roads that would influence linear movement.

Why do the dogs prefer the north-south axis and avoid east-west? That was unclear, according to the study:

It is still enigmatic why the dogs do align at all, whether they do it “consciously” (i.e., whether the magnetic field is sensorial perceived (the dogs “see”, “hear” or “smell” the compass direction or perceive it as a haptic stimulus) or whether its reception is controlled on the vegetative level (they “feel better/more comfortable or worse/less comfortable” in a certain direction).

Something to chew on » New Zealand man sets up ‘stick library’ for his local dog park

The Guardian »

A New Zealand man has created a “stick library” for his local dog park as a way to recycle branches from tree pruning.

Andrew Taylor, of north Canterbury in the South Island, cut a dozen tree branches down to “stick” size for the community’s four-legged friends, and smoothed away the rough edges using tools he had around the house.

Taylor then built a box to hold the sticks and engraved the words “Stick Library” on it and the words “please return”.

Read the whole article in The Guardian »

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