WATCH: These Dogs Vote by Sneezing
Democracy isn’t just for humans. New research suggests the sociable carnivores known as African wild dogs make consensus decisions too—by sneezing.
The canine equivalent of “achoo!” seems to serve as a vote for some groups of the dogs, which live in countries such as Namibia and are distantly related to domestic pooches. Wild dogs embark together to hunt only when there’s enough sneezing at a pack gathering, says a study in this week’s Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
For the dogs, sneezing “is a form of communication,” says study co-author Reena Walker, who performed the research as a student at Brown University and a research technician at the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust. “The sneeze acts as some kind