Do an­i­mals cud­dle?

World of Animals - - An­i­mal An­swers -

Yes, they do! Like us, some an­i­mals use phys­i­cal con­tact to strengthen bonds be­tween them and to share warmth and safety – for the pur­pose of your ques­tion, we can call this ‘cud­dling’. Cud­dling is mostly ex­pressed in mam­mals, the crea­tures that en­joy tac­tile be­hav­iour and have hair fol­li­cles. Some ex­per­i­ments in mice showed that when these hair fol­li­cles were stim­u­lated it brought about a plea­sure re­sponse, which goes some way to ex­plain­ing why we hu­mans en­joy touch and why our pets love to be fussed over. In the nat­u­ral world touch is part of so­cial be­hav­iour. Lions in a pride will lie down to­gether and nuz­zle one an­other; wolves in a pack will all bunch to­gether when they rest; and an­i­mals that hi­ber­nate will of­ten come to­gether to share body heat. This pro­vides a close­ness and safety in num­bers.

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