Mysterious Dogs

Feb 10, 05:00 AM

How did dogs get to be dogs? What do our four legged friends dream about? And - most importantly - are dogs really smiling at us when we think they are? All these questions (and a whole lot more)are answered by our intrepid science reporters, Jeanna and Mindy.

Below you can find links to further reading on the topics discussed in this episode.
  • Dogs diverged from wolves — Canis lupus — at least 20,000 and perhaps as long as 40,000 years ago
  • A 14,700-year-old jawbone is the oldest undisputed fossil from a domesticated dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

  Mystery #2: What Do Dogs Dream About? 
  • In 1977, scientists studied 6 pointer dogs, studied electrical brain activity for 24 hours: They spent 44% of time awake; 21% drowsy; 12% in REM sleep; and 23% in the deepest stage of non-REM sleep (slow-wave sleep).
  •  For whatever reason, the size of the dog may determine the size of the dream. Smaller dogs have more frequent but shorter dream periods; large dogs have less frequent but longer dreams.
  • We have a special bond with our dogs and when  humans and dogs stare into each other's eyes, both experience a rise in levels of oxytocin
  • Very few other animals in the world actually make eye contact with humans 

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Music by Chad Crouch - Algorithms