Science & Technology

How unique facial muscles make those “puppy dog ​​eyes” attractive to humans

Credit: PIXTA.

When a dog needs something from a human, it only needs to raise his eyebrows. Faced with those big “puppy dog ​​eyes”, humans have no choice but to give in. The characteristics of this dog and its power in human and dog dynamics are, of course, not a coincidence. According to new research, dogs can evolve the muscles around their eyes to make them more expressive. Wolves, dogs’ closest living relatives, missing muscles.

Researchers at Howard University compared the facial anatomy of six domestic dogs and four gray wolves, along with behavioral changes in nine wolves and 27 shelter dogs. Researchers have found that all dogs have muscles that pull the outer corners of the eyelids toward the ears when they contract. This very thin muscle, called the levator anguli, is not present in wolves. This only means that it has emerged as a by-product of domestication of dogs. It was also relatively fast and happened over tens of thousands of years.

“We show that in just 33,000 years, domestication changed the anatomy of the dog’s facial muscles, especially for facial communication with humans. Dog and wolf heads. Based on the anatomy of the dog, it shows that the rectifying muscle, which is the muscle that strongly lifts the medial broad muscle, is evenly present in dogs, but not in wolves, “the author writes in the journal. PNAS..

To study how dogs use extra eye muscles, researchers exposed participating dogs to humans for a few minutes. Compared to wolves, dogs raised their inner eyebrows more often and with greater strength than wolves.

Red highlights the anatomical differences in eye muscle tissue between the two species. Credit: PNAS.
Red highlights the anatomical differences in eye muscle tissue between the two species. Credit: PNAS.

The extra muscle allows dogs to become more expressive, and researchers believe it manifested as a result of human preference for properties that facilitate eye contact between dogs and humans. Over time, emotionally expressive dogs were chosen by humans and bred more often than less expressive dogs.

“We know that Humans like dogs to show Pedophilic (infant-like) anatomical features such as large foreheads and large eyes. In studies that ask people to choose a photo that represents the face of a dog (or cat), people prefer faces that show pedophilic features to others, “the author says.

Video: The strength of the wolf’s eye muscles.

Video: Shelter dog eye muscle strength.

Studies show that when dogs make “puppy eyes,” humans are more likely to want to take care of them.Some shelter dogs often open their eyes and raise their eyebrows Highly likely to be adopted Compared to less expressive dogs. In other words, we manipulated dogs to evolve their functionality to their liking. But then the table changed. Instead, it is the dog that manipulates us with attractive and adorable eyes.

How unique facial muscles make those “puppy dog ​​eyes” attractive to humans

https://www.zmescience.com/ecology/animals-ecology/puppy-dog-eyes-evolution-02323/ How unique facial muscles make those “puppy dog ​​eyes” attractive to humans

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