This Study Reveals Why Dogs Affect Us

ANIMALS – You can’t resist your dog’s gentle gaze when he asks you for medicine or a walk? It’s normal. A study presented at the Experimental Biology 2022 congress, held in Philadelphia (USA), revealed why the faces of our four -legged friends were so touched by us.

“Dogs are distinguished from other mammals by their equal bond with humans, which can be seen through each other’s gaze, which we do not observe between humans and other domestic animals. sucks like horses or cats, ”Anne Burrows said to the scientific area. EurekAlert. A medical doctor and professor in the physical therapy department at the University of Pittsburgh, he was one of the study’s lead authors.

The importance of mimetic muscles

Together with Madisen Omstead, head of the physiotherapy department, she emphasized the similarities between human and dog facial muscles. “Our preliminary results allow us to better understand the role of facial expressions in interactions and communication between dogs and humans,” he explains.

The researchers focused on the anatomy of mimetic muscles, those small muscles used to form facial expressions. In men, these muscles are dominated by “fast-twitch myosin fibers,” which means they contract quickly, but get tired quickly. “This explains why we are able to form facial expressions quickly, but cannot sustain them for long periods of time,” the newspaper says.EurekAlert.

The researchers more specifically compared myosin fibers to facial muscles in wolves and dogs. The results showed that, like humans, wolves and dogs have facial muscles that are driven by the rapid twitching of the fibers. Strange difference though: wolves have a higher percentage of slow twitch fibers than dogs.

Dogs are closer to humans than wolves

This difference is what explains why the dog is closer to humans than wolves in its facial expressions. “These differences suggest that having faster muscle fibers contributes to a dog’s ability to communicate effectively with humans,” says Anne Burrows.

The researcher continues: “Throughout the breeding process, humans have been able to selectively breed dogs based on facial expressions similar to theirs, and over time the dogs’ muscles have been able to evolve to become ‘faster’. ”, which further enhances communication between dog and human”.

In previous research, researchers found that dogs had mimetic muscle around their eye that wolves did not. This muscle is the source of communication by sight between dogs and men, as shown in the image above.

While dogs and wolves are closely related, scientists believe the two species dispersed genetically about 33,000 years ago, when humans began breeding wolves for survival.

See also HuffPost: “In Istanbul, this stray dog ​​is the star of public transportation”

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