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Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2010 Mar;293(3):513-8. doi: 10.1002/ar.21077.

Hair whorls in the dog (Canis familiaris), Part II: Asymmetries.

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  • 1University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. tomkins@optushome.com.au

Abstract

In horses and cattle, hair whorls have been shown to act as a structural marker of reactivity and behavioral lateralization. Few studies on canine whorls have been reported and none have assessed whorl position or direction of flow. This study describes the distribution and characteristics of whorl in each of 10 regions in which whorls are typically located in dogs. Hair whorls were assessed in dogs (n = 120) and were recorded as clockwise or counterclockwise in the cephalic, cervical (dorsal, lateral, ventral), thoracic and brachial axillary, chest, shoulders, elbows, abdominal, and ischiatic regions. Bilateral whorls, including brachial axillary, elbow, abdominal and ischiatic whorls, rotated in opposing directions, allowing the dog's overall hair coat to be symmetrical. Cephalic, brachial axillary, and ischiatic whorls were consistent in their direction; cephalic and ischiatic whorls were clockwise on the right side of the body, and counterclockwise on the left, whereas right brachial axillary whorls were counterclockwise and left were clockwise. The central chest whorl was predominantly counterclockwise (91.21%). Direction of whorls was associated with several factors, including coat length, coat thickness, sex and source of the dog.

2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

PMID:
19957342
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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