Dogs Use Earth's Magnetic Field to Poop

When off a leash, they align themselves accordingly
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2014 1:02 PM CST
Dogs Use Earth's Magnetic Field to Poop

Early contender for line of the year in a genuine scientific study: "Dogs preferred to excrete with the body being aligned along the north-south axis under calm MF conditions." MF, in this case, referring to the Earth's magnetic field. That's right: When dogs poop, they position themselves according to the planet's magnetic field, say Czech and German researchers. They watched 70 dogs of nearly 40 breeds go through the motions for two years before publishing their results in Frontiers in Zoology, reports UPI.

Before grabbing the compass ahead of your next dog walk, Motherboard points out that the findings apply most consistently to dogs that are off the leash and in an open field. As for the related questions of why and how, the researchers admit they have no idea, or even whether the dogs do this intentionally. Only that they do. "Our analysis of the raw data ... indicates that dogs not only prefer N-S direction, but at the same time they also avoid E-W direction." (The find is a first for dogs, but other animals have been shown to be in tune with the magnetic field.)

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