The video: Move over, cats. It turns out that dogs are (relatively) sophisticated drinkers, too, according to Harvard University zoologists. Last year, a viral video showcased cats' deft ability to lap up a gravity-defying column of liquid with their tongues. Dogs' tongues, meanwhile, were dismissed as "crude ladles." But a new study, and a "mesmerizing" x-ray video (watch it below), illustrates that dogs drink the same way cats do: Reaching into the liquid with the tips of their tongues, pulling up a long column of liquid, and opening their mouths to capture it before it falls. The main difference: A dog dips its tongue farther into the bowl than a cat does, thus the extra slop.
The reaction: The battle between cats and dogs is far from over, says Ed Young at Discover. But for now, let's call it "a draw." And to think, for all these years, we've been wrong, says Esther Inglis-Arkell at io9: "The dog has been just as much a master of physics as the wily cat ." That said, the cat's neatnik reputation remains intact: "A dog bowl usually looks like the aftermath of a localized rainstorm." Watch the canine slurp process:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- Why Israel can no longer let the Palestinian Authority be responsible for security in the West Bank
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why you shouldn't eat dog. Not even once.
- How social conservatives became a minority in need of protection
- 10 things you need to know today: July 26, 2014
- The week's best photojournalism
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- How to cook a perfect rib eye steak
Subscribe to the Week