People and horses share facial features

17-01-2017 Predatorke
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A team of scientists from the University of Sussex says that horses show some similar to humans and the chimpanzees, including gestures nose, lips or eyes to alter their gestures in social situations facial expressions. The study was published in the journal PLoS One.

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"The horses are predominantly visual creatures, their vision is better than that of domestic cats and dogs, however, its use of facial expressions has been largely overlooked. We were surprised by the rich repertoire of complex facial movements that have and that many of them are similar to humans, "says Jennifer Wathan, co-author of the study.

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Experts devised a coding system named target encoding equine Facial Action identifies different individual facial expressions on the basis of muscle movement. So they have identified up to 17 facial movements analyzing video images of a wide natural behavior of the horse as well as an anatomical examination of the facial muscles that support each of these movements.

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These facial movements identified were compared with 27 moves in humans, chimpanzees 13 and 16 in dogs. The results suggest an evolutionary parallelism in different animal species on how the face is used for communication. "What we are going to study now is how these expressions to emotional states are linked," says Wathan.

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"In addition to improving our understanding of social cognition and comparative psychology, ultimately, the findings should provide important information for veterinary clinics and animal welfare," they sentenced.