Many predatory animals to detect preyuse several senses at once. Rattlesnakes, for example, recognize potential victims not only through their eyes, but also using a couple of temperature-sensitive pits on their heads. Using their cold senses, snakes can easily pick up infrared radiation that comes from almost all warm-blooded animals. If you believe the results of a study conducted by Hungarian scientists, dogs can feel other animals in the same way.
According to the scientific journal Scientific Reports,To do this, they use a sensitive area of the skin on the tip of the nose, which is known as rinar. Many mammals have such a sensory organ, but it is colder in dogs than all others. Due to the low temperature of rinaria, dogs can more easily pick up infrared radiation from other animals and objects, because the temperature of their own receptors does not create “thermal noise”.
The cold nose of the dog suggests that shecompletely healthy. If the temperature of rhinaria is elevated, it means that the dog is sick and cannot feel the surrounding objects as well as usual. But they check the health of dogs by the temperature of the nose only when they are active, because during sleep, the nose can be warm and this is normal
How sensitive is the dog nose?
To prove that dogs can feelthe temperature of the surrounding objects with a nose, Professor Anna Balint and her colleagues from Hungary and Sweden conducted an experiment. They took two toys about 10 centimeters in size, one of which was at room temperature, and the other was heated 12 degrees Celsius above. The objects were placed at a distance of about 1.5 meters from the dogs, because it is believed that at this distance, the animals' poorly developed vision cannot clearly see objects. The subjects had only one way to recognize the toy, using heat-sensitive receptors on the nose.
Since dogs were originally trained to bringtoys used in the experiment, they already knew what was required of them. In the course of scientific work, researchers several times noticed that the subjects quickly find and bring exactly the toy that was warmer. It turns out that dogs, like rattlesnakes and many other predators, are able to "see" objects by their thermal footprint.
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To verify this, the researchers conductedadditional experiment involving 13 dogs. At the same time, they were placed in a tomograph, which allowed scientists to track the activity of the brain of animals at the time of detection of a warm object. It turned out that in this short period of time, the somatosensory cortex of the left hemisphere of the brain is activated in dogs, which is responsible for tactile sensations and temperature perception. Dog’s brains did not react to cold objects in this way.
According to scientists, in the same way potentialprey can be detected by wolves and other animals with the presence of cold rinaria. For example, it has already been scientifically proven that some types of bats have the same sense organ, which it is important to choose the best skin on the body of the victims to obtain the most nutrients.
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In general, dogs are amazing animals,the mental abilities of which can be compared with the intelligence of young children. If you want to know more about the capabilities of our four-legged friends, we recommend that you watch the documentary film “BBC: Dog Secrets”.