Video of the Day: Science behind the wet dog shake

It turns out that dogs aren't just trying to get us soaking wet when they shake off excess water.

At least 33 animals from 16 different species also partake in this seemingly random drying technique. Why? Well, an animal in the wild needs to be able to slough off water as quickly as possible to avoid illness. Sounds fair, but there's more — different animals shake at different speeds, too. The number of "shakes" per second directly relate to "(i) the animal's size and (ii) the properties of water, namely surface tension and density."

This means that a bigger dog may only need about 4 shakes in a second to shed 70% of the water, but a rat needs closer to 30. It's all about maximizing efficiency and decreasing physical effort and as that loose skin whips around, mammals can generate centrifugal forces 10-70 times gravity. Check out the video below.

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Via io9

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