Botswana wild dog with mouth open

Marcel Brekelmans/iStockphoto

Wild dogs vote to initiate a hunt by sneezing

For the wild dogs of Botswana’s Selinda Reserve, a sneeze may represent a form of democratic communication. Wild dogs are carnivores that hunt in packs, and a new study suggests that the decision to initiate a hunt may come from a voting system in which a sneeze equals a “yea,” National Geographic reports. The voting occurs during a prehunt “rally” in which the dogs gather together, but the process isn’t perfectly democratic: When high-ranking members of the pack initiate the rally, as few as three sneezes are needed to greenlight the endeavor, whereas low-ranking members may need as many as 10 before the hunt is on, researchers report in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Latest News