Hey kitty, dogs drink like cats | Science News

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Hey kitty, dogs drink like cats

Physics of lapping crosses species boundary

6:57pm, May 24, 2011

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There may be some outraged sofa clawing and houseplant destruction over this, but a complex system of lapping liquids described last year for cats turns out to be the way dogs drink too.

High-speed video using X-rays now shows that dogs get liquids into their mouths by relying on the way liquid adheres to their tongues and the inertia of liquid columns, says evolutionary biologist A.W. Crompton of Harvard University. Dogs plunge their tongues into liquid and, like cats, swiftly pull up a little column of it through adhesion. Before gravity overcomes the column’s inertia and the liquid splashes down into the bowl again, the dogs snatch a sip, Crompton and Catherine Musinsky, also of Harvard, report in an upcoming Biology Letters.

That’s basically the same mechanism a team reported admiringly in Science last year when describing the way

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