Dogs seem to have an awful lot of ritual before hunkering down and soiling the sidewalk. It’s not uncommon to see a dog owner—plastic bag in hand—rolling his eyes as his furry companion sniffs and spins, getting just so before hunkering down to do the least considerate thing possible.
A team of Czech and German researchers found that dogs actually align themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field when they poop.
Proving at least that they’re really devoted to their work, the researchers measured the direction of the body axis of 70 dogs from 37 breeds during 1,893 defecations and 5,582 urinations over the course of two years, and found that dogs “prefer to excrete with the body being aligned along the North-south axis under calm magnetic field conditions.”
The big question to this profound question, of course, is…why?
Cattle and deer will graze along the north-south magnetic axis as well, and bats and birds certainly react to it as well.