Rennes: An exhibition about our pets

Today, in France, there are as many pets as human beings, including 11 million felines and 8 million canidae. Nevertheless, there are many prejudices concerning our four-legged companions which are not necessarily easy to detect.

For a long time the main use of animals was research, today it is rather their behavior that is studied. It is thus that the ethologists have greatly advanced in the knowledge of animal behavior. This exhibition taking place in the open fields of Rennes (35) is organized into three themes: “in their skin, around genetics and races “, “in their head, around their sensory perception” and “In society, around the relationships between men and animals ».

It has been more than 15,000 years since we domesticated the dog, it is one of the closest cousins ​​of the wolf, it was mainly used at the time to hunt or protect itself from predators for example. Regarding the domestication of cats, it is a little more recent, it began 9000 years ago, when food began to be stored and where we needed to protect ourselves from rodents.

the chatno longer useful for work today, it has only become a animal of approval. On the other hand, the dog still has professional uses, for example, such as security, the search for victims in the event of an avalanche, for example, the creation of social links for prisoners, the elderly or people with disabilities and the detection of diseases such as cancer or diabetes.

There is a wide variety of dogs and of chatsrespectively 343 and 72 races. At the dogs, we can find differences in appearance, size, hair and even the shape of the ears. About the chats it is especially the dress that will vary. These developments in the variety of races are mainly due to human intervention, in terms of crossing or of inbreeding for example, the aim being to improve the physical or work characteristics with l’animal. Nevertheless, as stated by William Le Jonny, in charge of mediation in the space of sciences: “These selections experiencing abuses, some dogs from race live shorter. This increased the inbreedingcaused respiratory problems, but also on the kidneys, walking”.

The crossings are therefore partly intended to improve the performance of a dog, such as speed. A dog runs today on average at 32 km/hour compared to 12km/hour for humans, greyhounds can even reach 70 km/h. As to chat he is able to travel 100 meters in less than 10 seconds. Also, the dog is one of the few animals to ask man for help when he can’t get what he wants. Its highly developed sense of smell is particularly due to the presence of 200 cm² of olfactory mucosa, so it is able to have a hundred times more olfactory neurons than humans. Finally, if we know that a chat always lands on his feet, which is good because he has a very flexible spine and collarbones.

To learn more about the domesticationthe evolution and the singularities of our animals company, all you have to do is go to the science area, to the free fields at Rennes (35). The exhibition takes place from Tuesday to Friday, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., and on weekends from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., until March 8. And good news, on the occasion of the science festival, admission is free this weekend, October 4th, 5th and 6th. Moreover if you want to be advised on the education or the behavior of your dog you can contact Pascal de Canibest Rennes (35)who will be happy to answer your questions.