Cats vs Dogs: Drinking Edition

May 26 2011 @ 9:25am

Ed Yong calls it a draw:

Until recently, people thought that both pets drink by using their tongues as simple ladles to lap up liquids. But Pedro Reis and Roman Stocker from MIT found that cats do something very different. Using high-speed video recordings, they showed cats drink by using their tongues to draw columns of water into their open jaws. While dogs supposedly drink by scooping up water in a mundane way, cats were portrayed as masters of physics that “defeat gravity” whenever they drink. Now, A. W. Crompton and Catherine Musinsky from Harvard University have stepped up to even the score for dogs. Through their own high-speed videos – including X-ray films of drinking dogs – they have found that dogs use the same technique the cats do.

But messier.