Do Animals Smile from Yahoo!

Melissa mentioned this article, from Yahoo, to me just a few minutes ago and I’ve always known that animals express a lot more emotions than we actually once thought they did. I mean, having a cat for 21 years I knew he had a huge range of emotions, and now seeing what Peanut, Cassie and Chloe are able to project, whether it is through sounds, body language or expressions on their face; they are pretty good at expressing what is on their minds. I mean, just look at this iconic picture of Cassie:

click to zoom


That is just pure joy!


As for rabbits, I don’t think they have evolved as much as dogs have, but I feel like they show that they are smiling or laughing just by the twinkle in their eyes. For those of you who have rabbits know what I’m talking about.


I really enjoyed reading this because it really affirms a lot of what I’ve always thought. Also, the part that I really liked was the part where Professor Nicholas Dodman who is the head of animal behavior at Cummings School of Vetenary Medicine at Tufts School of Medicine said that “dogs even have a sense of humor and laugh with a kind of huffing sound.” I’ve heard this sound from Cassie and I will be paying attention more now when I hear it.


You can read the beginning of the article from Yahoo below:





By Sarah B. Weir & Trystan L. Bass
Pavlov might have called that happy look on your dog’s face a collection of conditioned reflexes, but now science is catching up with what animal lovers have always known.
According to Professor Nicholas Dodman, head of animal behavior at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts School of Medicine and a regular on Animal Planet’sDogs 101 and Cats 101, until recently, scientists have generally underestimated the emotional range of animals. He says that today it is widely understood by scientists that mammals do experience primary emotions such as fear, sadness, anger, and happiness and even some secondary emotions like jealously and embarrassment—and they communicate them. Dodman says that dogs even have a sense of humor and laugh with a kind of huffing sound. He describes a study that examines how playing recordings of this laughing sound actually calms shelter dogs.
As for dogs’ smiles, he points out the dogs in our slideshow, “Note that the lips horizontally retract into what’s called a ‘submissive smile’ – a sign that a dog is non-threatening. It’s an expression that disarms possible aggression, much like the human smile.” Chimps, such as the group in our slideshow, exhibit what’s called a “play face” – or an invitation for fun.  Cats have naturally bowed mouths—like the cat in our slideshow, so Dodman says its tricky to pinpoint an actual smile, but they are emotionally sensitive, trainable, and affectionate. Among many other pets, Dodman has enjoyed sharing his home with rats, which he says are “very affectionate and intelligent.” Dodman, points out that your pet might not understand the exact details of your hard day, but you probably sense it is empathetic enough to curl up and listen.
To read the rest of the article, go to: Yahoo

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