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Brainiac

Big Data: 40,000 years of being best friends

In a Friday Oct.. 13, 2017 photo, Nicodemus, a comfort dog, looks out a window in Omaha, Neb. Nicodemus was among a group of dogs that went to Las Vegas to comfort victims of the mass shooting. (Julia Nagy/Omaha World-Herald via AP)
Julia Nagy/Omaha World-Herald/AP/File 2017
Nicodemus was among a group of dogs that went to Las Vegas to comfort victims of the recent mass shooting.

40,000: That’s how many years dogs and humans have been making eyes at each other. As they were domesticated, dogs developed the ability to form powerful bonds with humans, and new research shows that eye contact was an important part of that evolution. Researchers from Yale and the Australian Dingo Foundation teamed up on the study published in Animal Behavior, which finds that dogs’ ability to initiate eye contact with humans likely occurred early in their domestication, while ability to make prolonged eye contact was a more recent development.

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Alex Kingsbury can be reached at alex.kingsbury@globe.com.