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Turns Out Gary Larson Knew (The Far Side)

“[A] comic Larson once presented as a ridiculous sight is closer to reality than one might realize.”

As detailed by Wired, dog barks actually serve a purpose, one likely tied into their domestication and relationship with humans.

 
© Gary Larson

The Nexus compares Wired’s theory to a The Far Side cartoon panel.

On the surface, perhaps it means Professor Schwartzman has dedicated countless time and effort only to discover that dogs really just don’t have that much to say. Had Schwartzman taken some more time to study canine behavior, perhaps the comic strip’s protagonist would’ve realized the logical (almost obvious) answer that dog barks mean exactly what the decoder expertly translates them to.

Regardless of humans’ original intent, barking has proven extremely beneficial. Early dogs likely served as an early alarm system, warning prehistoric humans when danger was nearby. While we may not notice an encroaching rival tribe, sabertooth tiger, or clan of cave hyenas (genuinely one of our greatest competitors at the time), our dogs would. Barks are simple, percussive sounds that travel over a long distance. They’re a great way to get someone’s attention, to warn others you see them, or express surprise. In English, there’s a simple word that can be used in the exact same manner that dogs use their barks: “Hey.

 

Speaking of Gary Larson

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