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For serious scientists, Lassie and her friends were deemed little more than dumbed-down ancestors of the wolf, degenerated into panting morons by millennia of breeding. But a younger generation of researchers has set out to restore the reputations of our beloved
pets. "Dogs can do things that we long believed only humans had mastered," says Juliane Kaminski of the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Evolutionary Anthropology in the eastern German city of Leipzig.
It is precisely their proximity to people which disqualified our four-legged friends as a model for so long that now makes them interesting to animal
researchers. "When it comes to understanding human behavior, no mammal comes even close to the dog," says Kaminski. Her Leipzig research team has demonstrated that dogs are far better than the supposedly clever apes at interpreting human gestures.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,504508,00.html
Melinda Shore - Software longa, hardware brevis - (Email Removed)

Prouder than ever to be a member of the reality-based community

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