January 4, 2014
Dogs align themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field (north-south axis) before squatting to poop, a new study has found.
Researchers from Czech University and the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany observed 70 dogs from 37 different breeds over the course of a two-year period.
They found that dogs preferred to excrete when their body was aligned along the north-south axis under “calm Earth’s magnetic field (MF) conditions.”
However, this behaviour did not occur under “unstable conditions,” researchers said.
It still remains a mystery why the dogs align at all, whether they do it deliberately or for comfort.
Several mammalian species spontaneously align their body axis with respect to the Earth’s magnetic field (MF) lines in diverse behavioural contexts, researchers said.
Magnetic alignment is a suitable paradigm to scan for the occurrence of magnetosensitivity across animal taxa with the heuristic potential to contribute to the understanding of the mechanism of magneto-reception and identify further functions of magneto-sensation apart from navigation, researchers said.