Just The Facts, Jack!

The Relativity of Disgust continued…
A commentary on “revolting” practices through the ages from a dog’s perspective.

Greetings

One thing dogs get a bad rap for is sniffing butts. Yes…we do it and we like it! If dogs wore shoes, we could tell each other’s shoe size by a good sniff.  Just a bit of information about our snouts; dogs have 300 million olfactory receptors  as opposed to humans who have about 6 million. The portion of a dog’s brain that is used for scent and the information we glean from it is 40% larger than humans. We have a portion of our system that is specially designed for heavy odors. As air travels into our snouts it is divided into respiration and scent interpretation. It is this part of our olfactory senses that are used for the jobs humans employ us. Sniffing butts is our way of greeting each other. Chimpanzees have a keen ability to recognize each other’s butts like people recognize faces. There is a theory that early hominids also used this system of recognition as they were switching to biped-hood. A bit amusing I must say! Now, humans have other interesting ways of greeting each other.  Tibetans stick their tongues out in greeting. Arab countries bump noses. Europe is the creator of air kisses on cheeks.  New Zealanders rub noses and foreheads in greeting.  Asians bow, Africa uses hand claps and sometimes fancy handshakes. Malaysians put their hands on their hearts and Greenlanders sniff faces. Western cultures use handshakes as do other areas of the world on occasion but never, and I do mean never, do they shake with the left hand. It is considered revolting to shake with this hand because this is the hand thought to be used in bathroom activities involving personal hygiene. Enough said? Animals have some fascinating greetings also. Giraffes entwine their necks. Dolphins whistle in greeting. Groups of dolphins actually send out an emissary from their group to meet the emissary of another group before the groups interact. Elephants entwine their trunks but also emit infrasonic calls and seismic vibrations to communicate from afar. Chimps touch palms, hug, and even kiss upon meeting each other.

The Relativity of Disgust to be continued…