The Great North To South Divide: Study Finds Consistent “Axial Orientation” In Canine Urination

220px-Kompas_Sofia220px-German_shepherd_footballThis may be a bit too scatological for the morning, so you might want to skip this for your afternoon reading. There are a couple of studies out that I found rather surprising. Indeed, one was surprising enough to get me out in below zero temperatures in the last few days to test with my own dog, Luna. One study in the journal Frontiers of Zoology found “axial orientation” in urination among canines. In other words, they pee in the same direction. That’s right, canines preferred to “excrete with the body being aligned along the north-south axis” under “calm magnetic field conditions.” The nearly 37 breeds of dogs studied were found to completely avoid urination or defecation along an east-west direction. That was so bizarre it prompted me to take out my iPhone with its compass and load up Luna. The results? North – South. I kid you not.

The study looked at 70 dogs, 1,893 defecations and 5,582 urinations over a two year period (CBS). The observations confirmed an “axial orientation” with the earth’s magnetic field. The dogs appeared to sense the Earth’s magnetic field regardless of the time of day and other variations in weather. They do not have an explanation for the axial orientation.

Then there is this second study that goes to all animals of any size. According to the New Scientist, there are fundamental laws governing urination across species. Studying rats, dogs, goats, cows and elephants, the scientists found that almost all mammals took roughly the same time to urinate regardless of their mass, bladder pressure and urethra size. The time? An average of 21 seconds. There were a few exceptions for rats and bats urinate very quickly, in under a second, while elephants are big enough that gravity accelerates urination so fast that they beat out most mid-sized mammals.

29 thoughts on “The Great North To South Divide: Study Finds Consistent “Axial Orientation” In Canine Urination”

  1. I rarely drop comments, however i did a few searching and wound up here The Great North To South Divide:
    Study Finds Consistent Axial Orientation In Canine Urination | JONATHAN TURLEY.
    And I actually do have 2 questions for you if it’s allright.
    Is it only me or does it look like a few of the remarks come across like they are coming
    from brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are writing at
    other places, I would like to follow anything fresh you have
    to post. Would you list of every one of all your communal pages like your Facebook
    page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  2. Professor Harris (Hi there, glad to see you!), Dredd, Many years ago I saw a show on our local PBS TV station that was fascinating. This was way before there was a Discovery channel or UTube. It discussed magnetism as a tool used by birds and discussed pigeons having magnetic sensitive minerals in their brain.

    There was a fascinating experiment shown regarding a particular kind of bacteria that also has bits of magnetic material within it. I forget the exact scientific names of the magnetic components etc. but the visual was stunning. There was a petri dish with a dark crescent hugging one side of the dish. It was explained that the dark band was bacteria (either the bacteria was artificially colored or the medium they were on was stained to make the bacteria more obvious). Next to the bacterial crescent was a small magnet. The magnet was moved to the other side of the petri dish and time lapse photography showed the bacteria, over several hours, migrating to the side of the dish which had the magnet near it. WoW!

    Thanks for the link Prof, I also had not seen before that the human brain contains magnetite. We are all Gaia’s children, Gaia in both the ancient Greek myths the and Lovelock hypothesis.

    Lol, If I were a citizen of Oklahoma I would be agitating for monuments to Gaia and Durga to accompany the Ten Commandments, the Festivus pole and Satan.

  3. I agree with Quikwit. Prof Turley. try the magnet and see if Luna positions herself in the direction of the magnet and not north/south. We believe that it is not magnetism but bi polarism. Due north not magnetic north. The magnet test might change my mind. Or, without the magnet, see if Luna is pointing true north and not magnetic north.

  4. The ‘ commodes’ in Both of my bathrooms face East! I’m living in my house with 13 years, and this is the first time I ever realize that!

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