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Mon Jun 17, 2019, 10:50 PM

Dogs' Eyes Have Changed Since Humans Befriended Them


Two specialized muscles give them a range of expression that wolves eyes’ lack.

HALEY WEISS
3:13 PM ET

Dogs, more so than almost any other domesticated species, are desperate for human eye contact. When raised around people, they begin fighting for our attention when they’re as young as four weeks old. It’s hard for most people to resist a petulant flash of puppy-dog eyes—and according to a new study, that pull on the heartstrings might be exactly why dogs can give us those looks at all.

A paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that dogs’ faces are structured for complex expression in a way that wolves’ aren’t, thanks to a special pair of muscles framing their eyes. These muscles are responsible for that “adopt me” look that dogs can pull by raising their inner eyebrows. It’s the first biological evidence scientists have found that domesticated dogs might have evolved a specialized ability used expressly to communicate better with humans.

For the study, a team at the University of Portsmouth’s Dog Cognition Centre looked at two muscles that work together to widen and open a dog’s eyes, causing them to appear bigger, droopier, and objectively cuter. The retractor anguli oculi lateralis muscle and the levator anguli oculi medialis muscle (mercifully known as RAOL and LAOM) form two short, straight lines, which connect the ring of muscle around a dog’s eye to either end of the brow above.

More:

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/06/domestication-gave-dogs-two-new-eye-muscles/591868/?fbclid=IwAR18Z8kp8K9iLNcfYmFUlzg6I6_9V9nTpY99onuCPxnb2_EaHkDn-8D9L8w

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Reply Dogs' Eyes Have Changed Since Humans Befriended Them (Original post)
Quixote1818 Jun 2019 OP
Throck Jun 2019 #1
Bayard Jun 2019 #2
smirkymonkey Jun 2019 #3

Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Mon Jun 17, 2019, 10:53 PM

1. Can you break the news to my dog?

Total mind of her own.

Unless food is involved.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Mon Jun 17, 2019, 11:34 PM

2. Really interesting

Especially the connection of their appearance to human babies that triggers the same response of affection.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Mon Jun 17, 2019, 11:47 PM

3. Those little rascals just know how to work it.

It never fails. One look with the puppy dog eyes and I am wrapped around their little paws.

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