National Geographic : 2014 Sep
Heads and Tails A dog wags its tail to express emotion. Now researchers have begun to interpret certain tail move- ments. When viewed in slow motion, wagging back and forth—commonly thought to signal happiness—actu- ally leans more to one side or the other. A recent study found that wags to the right imply that a dog is excited, such as when viewing an owner or a friendly dog. Wags to the left reveal nervousness, often around perceived threats. Accord- ing to University of Trento neuro- scientist Giorgio Vallortigara, the movements are a result of cognitive asymmetry, where one hemisphere of the brain controls the opposite side of the body. By watching closely, some dogs can recognize each other’s moods based on subtle flicks of the tail. — Daniel Stone PHOTO: KEN ANDERSON. ART: MIKEL JASO; EMILY M. ENG (TOP). SOURCE: MICHAEL E. DILLON AND ROBERT DUDLEY NEXT Cold Words Dialects of Alaskan Inupiaq have about a hundred words for sea ice. These definitions are from the Wales Inupiaq Sea Ice Dictionary. — Eve Conant Auniq Thin, rotting, and unsafe ice with melted holes Analuaq Part of an ice floe covered by walrus excrement Utuqaq Ice that appears in the Bering Strait every November Mitivik Crystals of ice floating in seawater or a fishing hole Qaaptiniq Water splashed around a seal’s breathing hole in the ice Tuwaiyauti (verb) To drift away on a piece of ice THE LIST Some male bumblebees can fly higher than Mount Everest.