Dogs are perhaps best known for being loving and loyal, but they also have a bevy of lesser-known (and quite fascinating) traits.
Here are 10 amazing scientific discoveries about them:
Number 10: They have 3 eyelids. Like people, dogs have top and bottom ones that move up and down. They also have one that originates in the corner of the eye and moves side to side. Its purpose is for clearing mucus and debris.
Number 9: Dogs really do love their humans. There’s scientific proof of it. MRI scans revealed that when presented with the scents of various people and canines, the reward centers of the dogs’ brains were most responsive to the aromas of their human companions.
Number 8: They’re just as smart as toddlers. Specially designed IQ tests show that dogs’ capabilities are on par with the typical 2-year-old. That means they’re capable of learning over 150 words and gestures.
Number 7: Dog paws often smell like snack foods. There’s some debate as to whether the particular scent is popcorn or corn chips, but either way the cause of it has been linked to a bacteria dogs pick up while walking about.
Number 6: Canines possess the super power of night vision. It’s not cat-level, but it is superior to the darkness navigating abilities of humans. Dogs’ pupils are larger and their central retinas have more cells dedicated to light sensitivity than to color detection. That gives them an upper hand when it comes to making out objects in dim light.
Number 5: Every nose is unique. The Canadian Kennel Club has been using nose prints as a means of individual identification since the 1930s, and many organizations have followed suit.
Number 4: They most likely dream. Proof isn’t at the 100 percent mark, but there is an abundance of support backing the claim. Much of it is based in brain attributes and behaviors that dogs and humans share. Among them are structure and the occurrence of electrical impulses during the deep sleep stage.
Number 3: Fur isn’t just about warmth. In the summer it acts as insulation, keeping heat from reaching the body. Fur also protects the skin from the sun’s damaging rays.
Number 2: They really do listen when you talk. Even better, they’ve been shown to understand a lot of what’s being said. Though they’re not able to decipher the words, dogs can interpret certain sounds and the message’s overall emotional tone.
Number 1: Dogs aren’t nearly as sweaty as humans. That’s largely because rather than having sweat glands all over the bodies, as people do, dogs only have them in their paws. To cool off, they rely mostly on panting.