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What do they do for fun at Virginia Tech?

Dec 10, 2014 02:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds
Study how dogs drink water, apparently. Scientists from Virginia Tech and Purdue University have recently studied the drinking habits of various dog breeds and sizes and have identified and modeled the fluid dynamics at play when dogs drink water.

Dogs, it appears, don’t suck. Nor do cats. (Though some may disagree) As members of the carnivora, cats and dogs have “incomplete cheeks,” which allows them to open their mouths wide enough to deliver lethal blows. This lack of suction requires this subspecies of mammals to compensate by drinking via a two-part water entry-and-exit process. The lapping canine tongues create columns of liquid that allows dogs to gulp down water. Any dog owner knows it’s a messy business, but dogs are just doing what comes naturally. As are cats.

Cats, however, are way too restrained to romp happily in a bowl of water. Cats gently place their tongues on the water’s surface and then rapidly withdraw it, creating a column of water underneath the cat’s retracting tongue.

--Sarah Hagerty
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