Sunday, 01 October 2017 00:00

African Wild Dogs Sneeze When Ready to Move

In the wild, animals have a way of signaling each other that it’s time to move. Most do this through vocalizing a sound, whether it’s a grunt or a call. But for African wild dogs, the signal to move as a group is a sneeze. It’s a fact that has fascinated scientists.

Known as “casting a vote,” this signaling behavior has long been documented, but scientists say this is the first time that sneezing has been observed as the trigger. For African wild dogs, this means that multiple sneezes occur in a short timeframe. Researchers found that the more sneezes among a group of wild dogs, the more likely the group will be to start moving. This is the same behavior exhibited in other species with their vote casting. Meerkats, monkeys, and other creatures try to reach a consensus before moving. This consensus is called a quorum.

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