Biology

The evolution of the eyebrows, key to the relationship between dogs and humans

The domestication of the wolf to become the dog as we know it today, took about 33,000 years. Dogs were changing towards being more loving than wild animals and turning them into adorable beings in our eyes.

The adaptations of the dog towards the coexistence of the human being have undergone modifications in their appearance to be irresistible . New research has discovered how the spread of a single muscle played a huge role in how we love puppies with their adorable eyes.

As we said there is no doubt how we adore the eyes of a puppy. We can’t resist the eyes of a puppy . However, a while ago Dr. Juliane Kaminsky from the University of Portsmouth proved that dogs and especially puppies are first-rate handlers .

The dogs are able to identify our weaknesses and use their facial expressions (such as display language, mourn …) that use only when humans are nearby. If we record a puppy with a hidden camera, its facial expressions change.

Dr. Kaminski has focused her attention on how this has evolved by publishing it in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , where she concludes that the occurrence of the levator anguli oculi medialis (LAOM) muscle, which is responsible for raising the internal eyebrows as part facial movement has been perfected over time.

“This movement makes the eyes appear larger, and therefore much more child-like, which makes them more attractive to humans. The internal brow lift also resembles the facial movement that humans make when we are sad, thus eliciting a nurturing response from humans . “

Although the muscles of dogs and wolves are similar in other ways, Dr. Kaminski has found that LAOM is commonly present in dogs, whereas in wolves there are normally few muscle fibers surrounded by connective tissue at this location. which is not found.

Dogs and wolves have different facial expressions

A sample of dogs in shelters showed that they more often use their LAOM muscle to make their eyes larger when they are approached by unfamiliar people. Wolves in wildlife parks sometimes display similar expressions but much less often and with less intensity.

Kaminski notes that dog-human facial interaction has played a very important role in the development of this bond . Dogs seek human eye contact when they come to a problem they cannot solve. Looking into the eyes produces an oxytocin feedback between dogs and humans very similar to that produced between mothers and newborns that does not happen with wolves.

Although much of this change can be attributed to behavioral changes, Kaminski argues that dogs with the ability to raise their eyebrows and make their eyes appear larger hijacked the response of human caretakers to our own young.

The only species in the study that did not have the LAOM muscle was the Siberian husky, which is among the oldest dog breeds.

Dogs that raise their eyebrows frequently are more likely to be relocated from shelters than those that do not. This has likely represented an evolutionary advantage for thousands of years, leading to those with the ability to dominate the evolutionary niche of human symbiosis, at least until cats began competition.

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