Monday, November 15, 2010

Lapping vs. Sucking.... A Monday Journal #1

(Now that I've drawn you in, you might find this short piece to be an amusing relief...)

A study was just published in the online journal of Science that reveals the secret of how cats drink.  After 3 years of observation, inspired by the cat of one of the team of four scientists, it was found that cats are able to suck the liquid through a complex mechanism of gravity and inertia.

A dog actually bends the tongue like a backward J, not forward, as it enters the water bowl, and they use that backward scoop like a ladle to bring liquids into their mouths.  This is repeated in a lapping motion:

After close observation, the cat's tongue also bends like a backward J, but only the soft surface of the tongue touches the surface of the liquid. The rapid movement draws a stream of water up to the cat's mouth, and the cat is able to close off its cheeks and suck in the stream of liquid before it falls back into the bowl:

If my adventure in reinvention allowed me to change my entire way of living, I would become an animal scientist, to observe and solve mysteries of everyday animal behavior.  (On the side, I would write provocative headlines for blogs and other articles.)

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