Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Subway-riding dogs

Last weekend's Financial Times featured an article by Susanne Sternthal, "A wolf in dog's clothing" (the photo above accompanied the article). I found this to be the most interesting part:

[Animal behavior specialist Andrei] Neuronov says there are some 500 strays that live in the metro stations, but only about 20 have learned how to ride the trains. This happened gradually, first as a way to broaden their territory. Later, it became a way of life. "Why should they go by foot if they can move around by public transport?" he asks.

"They orient themselves in a number of ways," Neuronov adds. They figure out where they are by smell, by recognising the name of the station from the recorded announcer's voice, and by time intervals. If, for example, you come every Monday and feed a dog, that dog will know when it's Monday and the hour to expect you, based on their sense of time intervals from their biological clocks."

I wonder if Kirstin Bakis read Sternthal's article and was inspired.


Trumwill said...

Funny. I ran across that article, too, and was planning to post on it. Really interesting stuff.

DaveinHackensack said...

You should check out that Kirstin Bakis novel. Pretty original.

therivers said...

Just happened to read this article yesterday. Synchronicity, I suppose. Very interesting- especially the varied ecology of the different dog packs.

DaveinHackensack said...

Right, the Russian dogologist categorized the dogs into four distinct groups.