Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

African wild dogs 'use sneezes to vote'

Photo: Dr Andrew King, Swansea University

A team of international researchers, including a Swansea University scientist, has found that African wild dogs use sneezes as a way to vote democratically before moving off to hunt.

Previously it had been thought that the dogs were simply clearing their airways when they sneezed.

Credit: Dr Andrew King, Swansea University

The sneezes act as a type of quorum, and the sneezes have to reach a certain threshold before the group changes activity.

Quorums are also used by other social carnivores like meerkats, but our finding that the quorum number of sneezes changes, based on who’s involved in the rally, indicates each dog’s vote is not equal.

– Dr Andrew King, Swansea University