California Science Show Explores the Dog-Human Friendship
Did people decide to fall in love with dogs or did dogs choose people? And why do these two species seem to think so much alike, act so much alike and get along so well?
The California Science Center has spent the past five years finding the answer to those and many other questions about dogs. Answers came with the recent opening of a show called "Dogs! A Science Tail."
And, yes, real dogs will be there.
"It's really not...just dogs and science. It's really about how dogs and humans are both social animals...because we are both social animals, we've learned to work together," said Jeffrey Rudolph. He is the center's president and a dog lover who worked for years to put this show together.
As he spoke just before the show opened, he stopped at a representation of a fire hydrant. Next to it is a button. When pushed, it lets visitors smell what a dog smells.
Rudolph said that while humans would just smell dog urine, "a dog can tell what dog was there, what time they were there and actually which direction they were going."
It is one of the ways dogs can decide how safe the area is. It is also how they tell time.
"They have an amazing ability to learn information," continues Rudolph. He says that dogs have 300 million sensory receptors in their noses while humans have just 6 million.
Nine similar places in the show permit people to see like a dog does --- not a very colorful display. And, visitors can learn how dogs hear sounds that humans cannot.
They can hear termites eating in the wall, Rudolph says.
In the museum, people could watch Garmin, a 2-year-old golden Labrador retriever who is about to complete guide-dog school. He demonstrates his skill with visitors with covers over their eyes. Garmin guides them around barriers in the path.
But do dogs really love us?
"If you look a dog in the eye, a dog will look back at you and you will produce oxytocin," said Diane Perlov. She is the center's senior vice president for exhibitions. Oxytocin is the chemical known as the love hormone because of the feelings it causes in people.
"And," she adds, "the dog will produce oxytocin in his own body from looking back at you."
A chimpanzee, on the other hand, will just look away.
So how did the love between dogs and humans begin? Why are there dogs in more than 60 million American houses?
Scientists are not sure. They know dogs came from wolves and that wolves and people crossed paths more than 10,000 years ago, said Perlov. They learned they partnered well in the hunt for food. Could that be the beginning of love?
"It is...our ability to understand each other that forms the basis of our relationship," Perlov says.
I'm Susan Shand.
1.look back 回头看
When I look back, there might be ups and downs, prides and regrets.
2.social animals 社会动物
Wolves are highly social animals whose success depends upon their cooperation.
3.look away 转移目光
Don't look away from me when I'm speaking to you.
4.fire hydrant 消防栓
On every floor there is a fire hydrant.
5.Did people decide to fall in love with dogs or did dogs choose people?
fall in love with 爱上
When someone loves none, he will fall in love with anyone around him.
He tells me now that that was what made him fall in love with me.
6.And why do these two species seem to think so much alike, act so much alike and get along so well?
get along well 合得来；相处融洽
They don't get along well.
You may get along well with your boss.
过去五年内，加州科学中心一直在寻找以上问题以及其他许多有关狗的问题的答案 。答案将在最近一个名为“Dogs! A Science Tail”的展览中揭晓 。
“这真的不仅仅是狗和科学 。这其实是关于狗和人类如何成为社会性动物……因为我们都是社会性动物，所以我们学会了合作 。”杰弗里·鲁道夫（Jeffrey Rudolph）说道 。他是该中心的主席，也是一位爱狗人士，多年来他一直致力于举办这场展览 。
在演出开始前，他在一处消防栓前停了下来 。消防栓旁是一个按钮 。按下这个按钮，游客可以闻到狗闻到的味道 。
鲁道夫说：“虽然人类只闻到狗小便的味道” 。但是狗却能分辨出狗的品种，它们停留的时间以及离开的方向 。”
这是狗判断该地区环境安全程度的方法之一 。它们也会借此标记时间 。
鲁道夫继续说，“它们具有惊人的学习信息的能力” 。他指出，它们鼻腔内分布的3亿个嗅觉受体远远超过人类的600万个 。
展览中有9处类似的地方可以让人们通过狗的视野看世界——只是没有那么丰富多彩 。此外，游客还可以了解狗如何能听到人类听不到的声音 。
黛安·佩洛夫说，“如果你直视狗的眼睛，狗也会回望你，你就会产生催产素” 。她是该中心负责此次展览的高级副总裁 。催产素是一种被称为“爱情荷尔蒙”的化学物质，因为它能唤起人们的情感 。
科学家们无法给出准确答案 。佩洛夫指出，他们知道狗是狼群的后代，而且狼群和人类在一万多年前就打过交道 。他们发现，双方在合作觅食时配合得天衣无缝 。这可能是爱的萌芽吗？