Subscribe to RSS

Dogs do doo-duty in alignment with Earth’s magnetic field

Dogs do doo-duty in alignment with Earth's magnetic field

Doge seems impressed by the scientific study.

Dog owners are familiar with the sight of Spike sniffing, hovering, rotating, and then finally settling in to handle his business. It may seem like quite a production, but the pup may actually be getting into proper alignment with the Earth’s magnetic field.

A team of scientists is behind a new study published in Frontiers in Zoology and titled “Dogs are sensitive to small variations of the Earth’s magnetic field.” The researchers started off by observing dog behaviors such as resting and feeding, but soon zeroed in on excreting as the main focus.

The study concludes that, “Dogs preferred to excrete with the body being aligned along the North-south axis under calm MF [magnetic field] conditions.” When the magnetic field isn’t calm, that directional behavior evaporates and the pooches aim any which way. The Earth’s magnetic field is only calm for about 20 percent of the daylight period, so you may have a hard time replicating the study’s findings with your own fuzzy test subject.

Related storiesNo More Woof reads dog brainwaves, translates to speechCan this iPhone app remote-control your dog?Dog tail-wagging takes sides, scientists determine

The study shows a high level of dedication, with the researchers logging 1,893 dog-defecation observations using breeds ranging from beagles to mutts. The data was collected outside in open fields so dogs wouldn’t be biased by routines established during regular walks. The study reads, “alignment during excreting was apparent under conditions of quiet magnet field, irrespective of the time of day or month.”

If the scientists’ discovery of magnetoreception (yes, it sounds like a super power) in dogs holds up, then dogs could start to play a new role in research, perhaps even in the biomedical sector, the study suggests. It may also help impatient dog owners come to a new understanding of why it takes so long for Princess Fuzzsnacks to complete her bathroom duty. Sometimes, it’s all about getting into the right alignment.

  • Dogs do doo-duty in alignment with Earth's magnetic field

0 comments

Other articlesgo to homepage

Did the iPod kill the boom box?

Did the iPod kill the boom box?

Starting in the 1970s boom boxes provided the soundtrack of urban life — on the street, buses, subways, parks, and beaches — boom boxes were everywhere. Now they’re almost defunct, music has moved inside, between our ears. We plugged-in and tuned-out from the world around us. The transition from external to internal was slow at

Mom tries to Facebook-shame daughter, gets pizza on face

Mom tries to Facebook-shame daughter, gets pizza on face

I do love parenting videos. Some parents believe in an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and a Facebook post for a Facebook post. Children, they think, sometimes need to learn lessons the hard way. Because the power of the hard way hasn’t yet been disrupted by the clever young people in

NSA’s reported Huawei hack gives glimpse of agency’s role in ‘cyber Cold War’

NSA’s reported Huawei hack gives glimpse of agency’s role in ‘cyber Cold War’

A new report based on the trove of secret NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden gives a glimpse of the agency’s role in the cyber-intrigues taking place between the US and China, with files showing that the NSA hacked into Chinese router-maker Huawei’s servers with the hope of gaining info on government plans and of

Twitter battle in Turkey heats up, spreads to YouTube — reports

Twitter battle in Turkey heats up, spreads to YouTube — reports

Turkey’s battle over Net censorship is heating up, with the government there reportedly blocking a method that let citizens sidestep a Twitter ban, the White House expressing “serious concern” over the ban, and Google reportedly refusing requests from Turkish authorities to take down YouTube videos that cast the prime minister in a critical light. Bloomberg

Apple rumor claims all-new, 12-inch MacBook Air

Apple rumor claims all-new, 12-inch MacBook Air

A future MacBook Air may depart from the 11- and 13-inch designs to date. Apple is planning a radical redesign of the MacBook Air “soon,” if a forum post out of China is to be believed. A key aspect of the redesign would be the elimination of the fan assembly, according to MacRumors, which describes

read more