NY Times: The Creature Connection

March 14, 2011 at 10:34 am Leave a comment

James Serpell, president of the International Society for Anthrozoology, has proposed that the willingness to anthropomorphize was critical to the domestication of wild animals and forming bonds with them. We were particularly drawn to those species that seemed responsive to our Dr. Dolittle overtures.

Whereas wild animals like wolves will avert their eyes when spotted, dogs and cats readily return our gaze, and with an apparent emotiveness that stimulates the wistful narrative in our head. Dogs add to their soulful stare a distinctive mobility of facial musculature. “Their facial features are flexible, and they can raise their lips into a smile,” said Dr. Horowitz. “The animals we seem to love the most are the ones that make expressions at us.”

Dogs were among the first animals to be domesticated, roughly 10,000 years ago, in part for their remarkable responsiveness to such human cues as a pointed finger or a spoken command, and also for their willingness to work like dogs. They proved especially useful as hunting companions and were often buried along with their masters, right next to the spear set.

via The Creature Connection – NYTimes.com.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Tips for Hiking with Small Dogs | The Bark In Therapy, Easing the Way With the Aid of an Animal – NYTimes.com

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