Dogs have the ability to recognize human gestures from birth, but wolves do not
Dogs have been found to be able to understand and act on human gestures by nature. However, the ability to recognize human gestures is considered rare in the animal kingdom. A research team led by Duke University has announced that the dog's relative, the wolf, does not have the ability to recognize human gestures.
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The research team conducted experiments on 44 dogs and 37 young wolves aged 5 to 18 weeks. Both dogs and wolves were genetically tested and confirmed not to be a hybrid of wolves and dogs. After that, wolves were raised with an emphasis on relationships with humans. The wolves were hand-fed, slept in their owner's bed, and cared for by humans 24 hours a day, starting a few days after birth. Dogs, on the other hand, lived with their mothers and siblings and were raised to have less contact with humans.
The research team then prepared two bowls, hid the treats in only one, and let dogs and wolves find food. At this time, humans pointed and stared at the direction in which the food was hidden, and gestured to give hints to dogs and wolves where the snack was.
As a result of the experiment, the eight-week-old dog understood where to go without training and was twice as likely to find a treat as a wolf of the same age. In addition, many dogs knew the location of the snack from the beginning without trial and error. In addition, the results of the control experiment showed that the dog did not look for a snack by the sense of smell.
Dogs and wolves demonstrated almost the same abilities in cognitive abilities tests such as memory and impulse control. However, it was revealed that dogs were 30 times more likely to approach strangers than wolves.
Also, when feeding in a closed container, the wolf tries to solve it by himself, but the dog showed gestures and voices asking for help while staring at the eyes of nearby people. thing.
'It's not about which species of dog or wolf is smarter. There are many forms of wisdom. Animals can succeed in any environment,' said Hannah Salomons, Ph.D. student at Duke University, the lead author of the paper. We are evolving our cognition. '
Principal Investigator Brian Hare argues that the results of this study provide evidence to support the dog's 'domestication hypothesis.'
The domestication hypothesis is that wolves have evolved to be friendly to humans over generations, gaining the ability to read human gestures and cues and identify human intentions. Between 12,000 and 40,000 years ago, only wolves who showed a friendly attitude toward humans were overlooked without being hunted, and the distance between humans was shortened to the point where they could eat leftover food. It is believed that dogs have become a species that genetically suppresses fear and aggression toward humans.
'The social ability of dogs is a product of domestication, and dogs are born with the ability to understand that humans are communicating with themselves and that they are trying to cooperate. I argued.
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