There are a lot of mysteries surrounding cats and dogs, such as, “What are they thinking?” “Does my cat really love me?” or “Does she just want me to feed her?” (The answer is always yes to that last one.)
Science is still working on those deeper questions, but one thing that we do know is how they lap up the water from their bowls. It might look like they”re doing the same thing – messily slurping it up – but animals drink in totally different ways, and they”re all pretty amazing. Then again, they”re also really weird.
Cat tongues are really strange. Tiny hairs on the surface are what cause their kisses to be scratchy and uncomfortable. Incredibly, science tells us that those hairs don”t play any part in the drinking process, as was once thought.
The cat just barely touches the surface of the liquid with its tongue, and quickly pulls it up. This creates a column of water.
The timing of when the cat closes her jaw around the water (or milk) column is crucial, as there”s a point when the liquid starts to fall back downward, due to gravity.
Cats” cheek muscles didn”t evolve in the same way ours did, so they can”t use suction to drink like we do. But evolution didn”t fail them – the fluid ends up in the cat”s mouth anyway.
Dogs can”t use suction either, but they take a completely different, sloppier approach to the whole ordeal of drinking.
They plunge their tongue into the liquid.
The dog”s tongue then curls backwards, creating a ladle.
And he pulls the water right into his mouth.
Horses employ the same kind of suction that humans use.
Pigs also slurp, just like us.
What about fish? Freshwater fish don”t actually drink water, they simply absorb it through their skin and gills. However, saltwater fish do drink water – their gills then process the water, separating out the salt.
The Thorny Devil drinks with its skin.
In the desert climate of the Australian Outback, this lizard”s scales are structured in such a way that scarce amounts of dew collect on its skin. The fluid is then channeled into the corners of its mouth, at which point the little devil drinks it. A very useful characteristic when there is hardly ever any pooled water to be found in the desert.
Click through the next page to find out how other animals drink!