The Atlantic

Dogs’ Eyes Have Changed Since Humans Befriended Them

Two specialized muscles give them a range of expression that wolves’ eyes lack.
Source: James D. Morgan / Getty

Dogs, more so than almost any other domesticated species, are desperate for human eye contact. When raised around people, they begin fighting for our attention when they’re as young as four weeks old. It’s hard for most people to resist a petulant flash of puppy-dog eyes—and according to a new study, that pull on the heartstrings might be exactly why dogs can give us those looks at all.

A paper published today in the found that dogs’ faces are in a way that wolves’ aren’t, thanks to a special pair of muscles framing their eyes. These muscles are responsible for that “adopt me” look that dogs can pull by raising their inner eyebrows. It’s the first biological evidence scientists have found that domesticated dogs might have evolved a specialized ability used expressly to

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Altro da The Atlantic

The Atlantic5 min letti
A Nation Coming Apart
The 45th president of the United States is uniquely unfit for office and poses a multifaceted threat to our country’s democratic institutions. Yet he might not represent the most severe challenge facing our country. The structural failures in our dem
The Atlantic17 min lettiPolitics
How America Ends
Democracy depends on the consent of the losers. For most of the 20th century, parties and candidates in the United States have competed in elections with the understanding that electoral defeats are neither permanent nor intolerable. The losers could
The Atlantic7 min letti
Introducing a New Look for The Atlantic
A conversation with the magazine’s creative director, Peter Mendelsund, about our bold new design