Why dogs like to roll in shit and carcasses?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Syzygys, Oct 17, 2006.

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  1. tablariddim forexU2 Valued Senior Member

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    Or even Keef
     
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  3. Roman Banned Banned

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    What's the difference between Mick Jagger and a scotsman?
     
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  5. Idle Mind What the hell, man? Valued Senior Member

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    I dunno, Roman. What?
     
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  7. Roman Banned Banned

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    Mick Jagger says "Hey you, get off my cloud." A scotsman says [scottish accent]"Hey McCloud, get off my ewe."[/scottish accent]
     
  8. CANGAS Registered Senior Member

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    I have observed this behavior and do not feel like like I know why. I have seen a Germab Sheperd find a dead bird, quickly lay down with her feet straight up in the air, and roll sideways back and forth through about 30 degrees about perpendicular a number of times, seemingly in a state of great enjoyment. The bird was located about directly under her front legs. I was very familiar with that good girl, and read her emotions as that of great joy and satisfaction.

    I never have had a good guess as to why she liked to do that so much.
     
  9. valich Registered Senior Member

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    The joy of instinctively finding a great source that will hide their own scent, that they instinstively do, as a behavioral trait passed down through evolution, so as not to be detected by the prey during the hunt.
     
  10. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

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    The joy of instinctively rolling in a strong-smelling carcass so as to show off to one's packmates, as a behavioral trait passed down through evolution so as to maintain a social structure.
     
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    My dogs like to roll in anything with a strong smell. It doesn't have to be animal material. If they run across a patch of smashed stinky weeds, or just a bag of leftover french fries somebody tossed out of a car last week, they'll roll in it for ten minutes.
     
  12. valich Registered Senior Member

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    This is an interesting hypothesis, but it just can't be. If one member of the pack came across this "strong-smelling carcass so as to show off to one's packmates," what would prevent all the packmates from doing the same? Surely they would all be close enough - as a pack - to smell the same source and do the same. And you know that the Alpha, as the leader of the pack, did not become the Alpha because of this.
     
  13. Roman Banned Banned

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    And women must be putting on make up to hide from predators, as it can't be that they're trying to look better. Otherwise, what would keep ugly women from putting on make up?
     
  14. valich Registered Senior Member

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    Are you suggesting that putting on makeup is a pack behavior? Or for the female to impress the alpha?

    Ironically, girls often try to look attractive, not for men, but compared to other women.

    This is a totally different subject.
     
  15. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    Uh...'cause they're dogs and they're dumb-as-hell?

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  16. Idle Mind What the hell, man? Valued Senior Member

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    Who said anything about pack behaviour?
     
  17. valich Registered Senior Member

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    We're talking about dogs - the Canidae family (wolves, coyotes, foxes, jackals, dogs). These species all evolved from ancestral wolves who were all pack animals. Stray dogs today also roam in packs. We are talking about a pack behavior.
     
  18. Idle Mind What the hell, man? Valued Senior Member

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    Not every behaviour exhibited by dogs, especially domesticated ones, is necessarily pack behaviour. In other words, not every day to day activity performed by a pack animal is necessarily performed for the pack. Some activities surely must be performed for the individual.

    No one suggested that a female putting on make-up is a pack behaviour. Conversely, we haven't established that rolling in decaying matter in a pack behaviour, either. You were the one that apparently drew the inference between the two ideas.
     
  19. valich Registered Senior Member

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    I know Invert enough by now to know that he is well-educated and would not seriously consider this statement to be factual. Although now that I have stated this he may reply to challenge. He is being rhetorical. And his rhetorical reply is both very intelligent and very humorous - and he knows this. And I do appreciate the humor.

    Thanks Invert. Now we'll have a post about dogs putting on lipstick?

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  20. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

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    Valich,

    And would you then care to share the epistemological basis for this proposition?
    I would make my own proposition based upon this statement by yourself.
    You know nothing about me.
    "Education" is in the eye of the beholder.
    And I am not being 'humorous' about my propositions concerning canine behavior, nor about your behavior being disgusting to me. (I have not, nor will I ever, forget your disgusting display in this thread, Valich. You might choose to pretend that you weren't caught red-handed being a lying little bastard, but I will not enable your self-deception.)

    Now.
    On to the meat.

    Yes. Absolutely.
    Every other member of the pack would likewise roll in the carcass or other strong-smelling piece of whatever.
    And what would this do?
    I've already stated this quite clearly in an earlier post, but I'll repeat myself for the reading impaired.

    A dog pack is a communal affair.
    It possesses a pack smell.
    This pack smell is created by all the members of the pack rolling in the same objects. (Along with other behaviors, of course.)
    Thus, the rolling behavior is a social behavior meant to strengthen the pack bond.

    It is not, as you suggest, meant to assert dominance in a pack. It is a means of group bonding. An amalgamation and an egalitarian process.


    However, I also believe that it does contain some degree of competitive behavior as well. This would be per your interpretation. A dog that has been separated from his pack would find scents to roll in which his packmates would not have. He would bring these scents back to his pack on his return. His packmates would gather around and sniff him excitedly and jealously.

    Although, it's difficult to assume the reaction. It is possible that the pack might look at him suspiciously. That a separation from the pack is viewed in a negative manner and the unique smells he brings back with him would be a reminder of this separation.

    Possibly a combination. An interest in the smell bordering on jealousy. And a paranoia of the outsider bordering on xenophobia.


    Also. It contains aspects of communication. A dog is unable to speak about his travels. But his smell is able to convey information.


    Also. I believe that camouflage does some part. But, most likely a small part. And one which is not really evolutionarily stable.
    After all, as I mentioned several times already, a deer herd would quickly learn the smell of the local dog pack. Making its scent stronger is no true disguise. Perhaps if it limited its rolling to dung, but it doesn't.
    Prey does not find the smell of rotting meat comforting.


    As to pack behavior.
    Perhaps one should distinguish between competitive and bonding behaviors.
    There are many aspects to 'pack behavior'. Hierarchical structure is only one aspect.

    You sure about this?
    Jackals evolved from wolves?
    I'm not sure myself, but I do know there were ancient species of dogs. It is a mistaken belief that all dog species were derived from wild wolves being domesticated.



    Idle Mind,

    True. It hasn't been established, but can almost be taken for granted. Dogs are highly social animals and thus a large percentage of their behavior can be seen as 'pack behavior'. The social bond is of extreme importance.

    However, it can also be said that not only has 'pack behavior' not been established, it has also not been defined. Valich seems to have a competitive viewpoint in mind, completely forgetting about subtler methods of group cohesion.
     
  21. Idle Mind What the hell, man? Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, Inverse, I would certainly agree that most behaviour that dogs exhibit in the very least stems from a form of "pack behaviour". And, this could very well be taken for granted as a pack behaviour.

    I was merely toying with valich, trying to illicit a response that isn't regurgitated from whichever hurriedly excavated source he has come across.

    But, you do bring up a good point of discussion. What exactly defines "pack behaviour"?
     
  22. Roman Banned Banned

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    Let's hang out. You wanna chill?
    I touch you, you touch me, it's a good time?
    Or whatever.
     
  23. valich Registered Senior Member

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    I was watching a special today about hyenas on the Nature Channel and learned that they also spread their scent by kicking dirt behind them profusely. The alpha was doing this in response to another male that was trying to takeover his pack and get the sow. I always thought this was territorial pack behavior. Dogs very often do this as well. Apparently it is another passed on "pack behavior."
     
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