One sleepy person can start a bout of contagious yawning that quickly spreads through a room. But a new study suggests the effect may not be limited to the room’s human inhabitants: Dogs can “catch” yawns from people, the study found—especially their owners, hinting that pooches may empathize with familiar people.
When listening to recordings of people yawning, 12 of the 29 dogs in the study yawned themselves. It made a big difference, however, whom they heard: The dogs yawned more than four times as much when they heard their owner yawn as when they heard as a stranger.
Anyone who’s watched a cat engage in a strenuous butt-licking session only to come over and start in on cleaning up your hand has probably wondered how healthy this can possibly be. Maryn McKenna over at Superbug has uncovered a paper that will probably terrify, but may, with its detailed descriptions of diseases contracted from pets (did you know you can get meningitis from dogs?), fascinate you. From the paper, titled “Zoonoses in the Bedroom”: Read More