We have seen dogs going about in circles before answering to the nature’s call. Though this might seem meaningless to us, a recent study has revealed that the dogs actually align themselves to the earth magnetic field before relieving themselves.
Over 2 years time, researchers from Czech and German conducted the study involving 70 dogs from 37 various breeds. The animals were observed taking off their burden for 7475 times, which includes 5,582 instances of urination and 1,893 instances of defecation, while the dog owners patiently maintained records. On compiling the data of dogs’ response and alignment with the geomagnetic surroundings occurring at the time, they found that the dogs like to align their body axis in the north south axis of the earth magnetic field during calm conditions. This was not the case during unstable magnetic field. The riddle whether the dogs intentionally align themselves to the particular axis or unconsciously, are yet to be solved.
The sense (Magnetoception) which empowers the dogs to figure out its position with respect to earth magnetic field has been noticed in other organisms like bacteria, molluscs, insects and in animals like pigeons, cattle, deer, bats and rodents. How does these animals perceive the magnetic field that is, through smell, hear or perceives it through some haptic impetus or whether they feel more comfort in north south direction and so purposely avoided east west direction. And what role this alignment of body plays at all during excretion process is still not known.
Researchers believe that the study require further studies in organisms for using the magnetic field for direction as well as about the magnetic field produced by living organism.
Source: The Christian Science Monitor