Is yawning contagious for other animals besides humans?

You bet, at least among higher primates such as chimpanzees and bonobos (for the same reason as for humans, researchers suspect). Even more surprising, experiments show that dogs catch yawns from watching people!

When two groups of chimpanzees were shown videos of familiar and unfamiliar chimps yawning, the group watching the chimps they knew engaged in more contagious yawning. This study, by Matthew Campbell and Frans de Waal, supports the theory that yawning plays a role in the evolution of social bonding and empathy.

And dogs not only catch each others’ yawn, they are susceptible to human yawning as well. In one study, 29 dogs watched a human yawning and 21 of them yawned as well — suggesting that interspecies yawning could help in dog-human communication.


Picture Credit : Google