Cool science facts about dogs

After spending a week camping with our dog Bella I started thinking about how amazing dogs really are. Bella can smell a possum way up in a tree and she recognises the footsteps of all the members of our family. I knew dogs had a fantastic sense of smell and I had heard that they were colour blind but I wasn’t sure so I did some research to find out.

Here are some really cool science facts about “man’s best friend”, the dog!

  • Dogs are not color blind – they see color, but their chromatic acuity is significantly less than humans’. This is for two reasons: (1) dogs have far fewer cone cells in their retina (cone cells are responsible for seeing color); and (2) dogs are dichromatic (they see only two primary colors – blue and yellow) whereas humans are trichromatic, meaning we see three primary colors – red, blue, and yellow.Humans have 7 times higher proportion of cone cells than dogs, meaning that when dogs do see colors, they are pale or faded. However dogs have a much higher concentration of rod cells, responsible for seeing black-and-white, and also much more sensitive in lower light conditions. For that reason, dogs have much better night vision than people.
  • Although experts often disagree, there is scientific evidence showing that the domestication of dogs could have occurred more than 15,000 years ago.

  • The most popular breed of dog in the world by registered ownership is the Labrador. With their gentle nature, obedience, intelligence and near limitless energy, Labradors make for excellent family pets and reliable workers. They often assist police and are a common choice as guide dogs.

  • Dog have superior hearing than humans, capable of hearing sounds at four times the distance.

  • Dogs have a remarkable sense of smell, they are capable of differentiating odors in concentrations nearly 100 million times lower than humans can.

  • Domestic dogs are omnivores, they feed on a variety of foods including grains, vegetables and meats.

  • Dogs communicate with each other using chemical cues (smells), body language (like tail wagging, head up and down, hackles up, rolling over ) and vocalisations (barking, whining)
  • Dogs have three eyelids, an upper and lower eyelid and a third one inside the other two called a ‘haw’. It helps protect the eye from dirt and dust.

If you would like more information, here is where I found these awesome facts, have a look and see what else you can find out!

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