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THE SLOW BLINK: WHY CATS DO THIS TO US—AND EVEN OTHER CATS was written by Modi Ramos for Cattitude Daily.
As they say, the eyes are the window to the soul. Our cats communicate via body language with us in a number of ways. Their tails will twitch or flip, and when it wags it’s a sign they’re irritated, much unlike when a dog’s tail wags. Their ears are very expressive, too. These erect ears of theirs act like little mood barometers atop of their heads. Did you know that cats slow blink not just with humans, but with other cats, too? Fascinating, right? Let’s dive in so you can learn why it is that cats do this interesting feline behavior.
Cats are not naturally trusting and when they aren’t asleep, they spend a lot of time on high alert. And thanks to those incredible reflexes of theirs, it’s easy for them to escape impending doom. You know, like when you’ve started the vacuum cleaner in your living room.
Our feline friends will show us that they love us in a number of ways. And when your cat slow blinks at you this is a very positive thing. It means A: they trust you, and B: you make them feel relaxed. If a cat feels comfortable enough to close their eyes around you, this should speak volumes about your character.
When a cat slow blinks at you, this is their way of giving you a kitty kiss. Your cat is not a naturally relaxed creature. For them to close their eyes when you talk to them, this is the ultimate sign of trust. So, it beats what you may have thought previously that your cat was simply bored with your presence!
Read more: THE SLOW BLINK: WHY CATS DO THIS TO US
Dogs may use Earth’s magnetic field to take shortcuts was written by Erik Stokstad for ScienceMag.org, 17 July 2020.
Dogs are renowned for their world-class noses, but a new study suggests they may have an additional—albeit hidden—sensory talent: a magnetic compass. The sense appears to allow them to use Earth’s magnetic field to calculate shortcuts in unfamiliar terrain.
The finding is a first in dogs, says Catherine Lohmann, a biologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who studies “magnetoreception” and navigation in turtles. She notes that dogs’ navigational abilities have been studied much less compared with migratory animals such as birds. “It’s an insight into how [dogs] build up their picture of space,” adds Richard Holland, a biologist at Bangor University who studies bird navigation.
There were already hints that dogs—like many animals, and maybe even humans—can perceive Earth’s magnetic field. In 2013, Hynek Burda, a sensory ecologist at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague who has worked on magnetic reception for 3 decades, and colleagues showed dogs tend to orient themselves north-south while urinating or defecating. Because this behavior is involved in marking and recognizing territory, Burda reasoned the alignment helps dogs figure out the location relative to other spots. But stationary alignment isn’t the same thing as navigation.
In the new study, Burda’s graduate student, Kateřina Benediktová, initially put video cameras and GPS trackers on four dogs and took them on trips into the forest. The dogs would scamper off to chase the scent of an animal for 400 meters on average. The GPS tracks showed two types of behavior during their return trips to their owner (see map, below). In one, dubbed tracking, a dog would retrace its original route, presumably following the same scent. In the other behavior, called scouting, the dog would return along a completely new route, bushwhacking without any backtracking.
The researchers took a close look at 223 scouting run cases, in which the dogs roamed an average of 1.1 kilometers on their return. In 170 of these trips, the dogs stopped before they turned back and ran for about 20 meters along a north-south axis. When the animals did this, they tended to get back to the owner via a more direct route than when they didn’t, the authors report in eLife. “I’m really quite impressed with the data,” Lohmann says.