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    The Relationship Between Inertia And Gravity -- Or How Dogs Drink


    by NTDTelevision

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    Our next story involves scientists at Harvard University, high speed x-ray video, and the scientific relationship between inertia and gravity -- all this to show us why dogs slobber when they drink.

    Mathilda the dog and Puddy the cat have something in common.

    When attacking a bowl of milk or water they use the same lapping mechanism to draw liquid into their mouths.

    The only difference is that Mathilda is a lot messier.

    [Alfred Crompton, Harvard University Professor of Biology]:
    "Lapping with both cats and dogs is like if you have a bowl of water and you put your hand on the bowl of water and you withdraw it rapidly a column of water comes up with your hand and that is essentially what both animals do."

    Alfred "Fuzz" Crompton, a professor of Biology at Harvard University, has devoted much of his time recently to studying the drinking mechanics of dogs, all in the name of science.

    He even published a paper that he says proves dogs and cats drink alike but he says the story really starts with scientists at MIT.

    Last year the researchers came to Crompton showing him their research detailing how cats use their tongues to draw liquid into their mouths.

    They claimed that cats understand innately, the relationship between inertia - which draws the liquid up - and gravity -which draws it back down and use that understanding to catch the optimal mouthful.

    "I said that is nonsense, I don't believe it. But anyway they showed me their data and I said 'you are quite right'. And then that dropped away and then they published their result and in their result they said dogs don't lap like cats, dogs scoop their liquid. So we thought 'well, I got a dog, let's go look at it.' So we did some regular filming and some high speed x-ray filming to show that they lap just like cats. They are messy though."