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The internet loves cats, but did you know the print on the cats nose has a unique
rigid pattern just like a fingerprint? Or that catnip really is like a
drug for cats? One of its volatile oils called nepetalactone enters
the cats nasal tissue and acts like an artificial cat pharamone. The sensory neurons are
stimulated and ultimately trigger a behavioral and sexual response in the
brain and body in around 80% of cats. Which must be nice considering
cats spend around 85% of their day doing absolutely nothing.
Drinking, eating, defecating and even mating only take up about 4%
combined. But when they are moving, they always seem to land on their feet. This
is because of something called the "Righting Reflex". Not only do cats have very
sensitive motion and gravity sensing abilities allowing them to determine
which way is down, they also have an extremely flexible backbone and no
collarbone.
By bending in the middle and using fast twitch muscle fibers they can whip
around without ever changing their net angular momentum. And did you know that
when a cat lifts its tail while being pet it's really inviting you to smell it's
behind?
Cats use sent to communicate and this exposes glands and pheromones holding
their signature smell. A nice alternative to a hug or a handshake. They also
rub up against you to spread these pheromones. The glands on their face, tail and
body help them to claim you with their scent, while also leaving nearby cats
signals about their identity, sexual availability and territory. On the other
hand, cats bury their poop in an attempt to hide its smell. This evolutionary
instinct is not only to avoid attracting predators
but to show that they're submissive to a dominant cat in the wild. In the case of
your house, this is your cats way of recognizing you as dominant.
Also in complete darkness cats can't actually see, though they can see much
better than you and I in dim light. Cats have a layer of cells behind the
retina called the "Tupetum Lucidum" which acts like a mirror reflecting extra
light back at the retina. In near darkness this gives their eyes a second chance to
pick up more light, but without any light present they can't see anymore than we can.
And if you ever see a cat with three distinct colours, often called a Calico
or Tortoise Shell cat you can bet it's female. The fur colour gene is located on
the "X" chromosome. This means females can have two colours in addition to white
because they have two "X" chromosomes. The male "Y" chromosome, on the other hand,
does not have any colour genes, as a result males will generally only have
one colour along with white
though in rare genetic cases it is possible for them to have more. Interestingly we still
don't really know why cats purr. In fact cats purr both during pleasurable
situations but also while they're in duress or injured. While many believe
it's a means to communicate passivity or pleasure,
one interesting theory suggests that the frequency that purrs occur at
(24 - 140 Hz) promotes healthy bone growth and healing. Because cats have
adapted to a lifestyle with frequent rest and sleep, this may be a low
energy mechanism to promote muscle and bone health.
Got a burning question you want answered? Ask it in the comments, or on facebook and twitter.
And subscribe for more weekly science videos.
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貓的科學

7873 分類 收藏
VoiceTube 發佈於 2013 年 4 月 5 日
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