Awwww.... He looks so sad.
Recent research has discovered that 33,000 years isn't the only thing separating wolves from dogs. They're also separated by eyebrows. Well, actually a small muscle on the inner edge of the dog's eyebrow that allows the dog to round their eyes and look sad.
Wolves cannot do this.
The study, published in June of this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science by scientists working at the University of Portsmouth is the first to make this discovery.
The scientists believe that dogs possess the ability to raise their inner brow to better communicate and illicit sympathy from humans. And that the protocols that were best able to use their eyes expressively were selected for, driving what is considered to be a rapid evolutionary change.
Co-author and anatomist Adam Hartstone-Rose, located at North Carolina State University, said, "These muscles are so thin that you can literally see through them -- and yet the movement that they allow seems to have such a powerful effect that it appears to have been under substantial evolutionary pressure. It is really remarkable that these simple differences in facial expression may have helped define the relationship between early dogs and humans."
How cool is that?
The scientists also learned that this muscle is not present in the Siberian Husky.
There's your cool fact for the day! Tell your dog and tell me they raised their eyebrows in mock surprise!
The full synopsis of the article can be found here at Science Daily.