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New research suggests African wild dogs sneeze when they are ready to hunt, according to The New York Times.
“Wild dog sneezing is different. For one thing it seems to indicate a positive reaction to a proposal before a group of dogs. When a pack of these dogs is getting ready to hunt, scientists reported Tuesday, the more sneezes, the more likely they are to actually get moving,” says the article, which quotes research released Tuesday in The Royal Society Publishing.
The dogs were studied in Botswana, Africa. When the animals weren’t sleeping — which they do a lot, being carnivores — the researchers found that one of the pack will start sneezing, signaling a change of venue, to say the least.
They say this starts “a rally,” which is designed to get “all the other members excited and milling around as if they want to play.” Neil R. Jordan, the senior author of the report from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, noticed that “the successful rallies there seemed to have more sneezing.”