This 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.