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Another Sign Of Animal Magnetism? Dogs Line Up With Earth's Magnetic Field To Excrete

 

Is your dog peeing north-south?: image via morguefile.com by xeniaIs your dog peeing north-south?: image via morguefile.com by xeniaMan and animal exhibit various signs of being in tune with the universe, but recently a team of zoologists from University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany made a new finding, one which provides yet another example of Franz Mesmer's theory of animal magnetism: Under stable conditions in the Earth's magnetic field, dogs will tend to urinate and defecate in line with its magnetic field.

You might not have noticed this phenomenon but, according to the study published in Frontiers In Zoology, when the Earth's magnetic field is stable, dogs tend to relieve themselves in a north-south direction.  Of course, you would not be able to notice whether this was a random act or not, unless you happen to have access to "the daily magnetograms released by geomagnetic observatories," according to the study's lead scientist Hynek Burda.

In fact, until Burda and his associates accessed the geomagnetic data, in addition to factors like the time of day, position of the sun, and wind direction, they were unable to find any pattern at all in the marking data, which totalled 1,893 instances of defecation and 5,582 instances of urination they had gathered from 70 dogs representing 37 different breeds studied over a 2-year period.  But once they did isolate the period of time  during which the Earth's magnetic field is stable, only about two hours each day,  the researchers were able to see a clear pattern of orientation among the dogs positioning.

While this study's findings may seem relatively minor, they are not.  They demonstrate one more area of canine sensitivity and provide a springboard for further study into other ways dogs express this sensitivity.  Burda previously showed sensitivty to Earth's magnetic field in cows, deer, and  foxes, but dogs were the first species to exhibit specific behaviors in response to prevailing geomagnetic conditions.

sources: National Geograhic, Frontiers in Zoology