1.64 – Is democratic sneezing the next big thing?

Just this week, a scientific paper was published which concluded that wild dogs in Botswana decided when to go hunting by sneezing.

Wild dogs live up to their name when chasing down their prey or upon human interference, but when left to their own accords they are extremely social and team-orientated animals. The young are cared for by the adults and the strong hunt for the weak. But how do they decide when it is time for dinner?

Social rallies occur within packs shortly after rest periods. At this time, pack members may begin sneezing in order to motivate the idea of a hunt. Once a certain threshold of sneezes is reached (normally around 10), the pack will then take off in a flurry to go and catch some prey.

However there also exists a kind of hierarchical structure within the pack, so if Big Boss Man and the Queen Bee cast their sneeze-votes, fewer other sneezes are required before the pack takes off hunting. So it’s like democracy but with weighted votes. Aren’t they clever little animals?


wild dog

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