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Cat Lap

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Prepare to learn of another remarkable attribute: Four researchers have painstakingly filmed, analyzed and determined how it is that a cat can drink water while (unlike a dog) keeping its chin and whiskers pleasingly dry.

The answer involves an exquisite demonstration of physics: The cat, in effect, balances the forces of gravity against the forces of inertia, and so quenches its thirst.

While a dog curls its tongue like a ladle to collect the water and then pull up what it can, a cat curves its tongue under and slightly back, leaving the top surface of the tip of the tongue to lightly touch the liquid. The cat then raises its tongue rapidly, creating an upward mini-stream of water. The cat snaps its mouth shut and the water is captured before the countervailing force of gravity pulls it down.

An average house cat, the team found, can make four of these mini-streams per second.

"What we found is that the cat uses fluid dynamics and physics in a way to absolutely optimize tongue lapping and water collection," said Jeffrey Aristoff, now at Princeton University.

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Not surprisingly, they found that cats lap at precisely the rate that would get them the most water for the effort expended.

Cat Physics

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I am sometimes left wondering if today's scientist, like the ones mentioned, have an indepth understanding of evolution. This type of thing is neat to figure out, but it is not a remarkable attribute as for something to be remarkable it is supposed to be extraordinary. The cat is acting in accordance to it's nature and it has gotten to the point they mention because of natural selection.

Man figures out how to draw water up from the ground by using his mind and body to create a pump and gets no applause. A cat does what is natural to him without any conceptual thought and it gets applause. Something is wrong.

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I didn't applaud the cat. I booed the dog for being so stupid. And, It gets water all over the floor.

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I didn't applaud the cat. I booed the dog for being so stupid. And, It gets water all over the floor.

The dog's ancestors were "smarter" in evolutionary terms than the cat. It is because they allied with humans via a form of symbiotic relationship that they survived despite being less well evolved than the body-perfect cat. The dog is a rudimentary trader, although it was not by mind and it was man's mind that created the dog as a domesticated animal.

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