The Science of Why Wet Animals Shake Themselves Dry

When a dog gets wet, what do they do to dry themselves? Shake away. It's the same for every animal! A team of researchers studied 16 wet animals including dogs, mice, tigers, bears and others to see the difference in their technique and recorded their shakes in slow motion to find out.


The science of shaking is fascinating, according to David Hu, the man behind the fun study, large dogs can shed 70% of the water in its fur in 4 seconds! In fact, mammals can generate centrifugal forces 10-70 times gravity by shaking (which means they have to close their eyes whilst shaking to avoid damage). Small animals shake much more quickly than large animals and animals with loose skin are better at shaking than those with tight skin because flappy skin increases the amplitude.

As for each animals shake per second? The video says:

  • dog - 4.3 shakes per second
  • kangaroo - 4.9 sps
  • another dog - 5.8 sps
  • hog - 8.2 sps
  • mouse - 18 sps
  • rat - 27 sps

I wonder what a human shake per second would be if we weren't all weenies and needed a towel. Also: seeing animals shake in slow motion is hilarious. [Nature via Expl.ore]

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Why? Because they don't have thumbs to operate a towel. That's why they have people.

And you probably thought you had a pet. Heh.