Study: Animals Can Fall In Love

In quite possibly the most awww-inspiring experiment ever conducted, researchers found that animals can love, just like humans. Paul Zak writes about a series of studies in which he was involved in the Atlantic, all of them revolving around oxytocin, the “neurochemical of love” that’s released when humans engage in any number of activities from bonding with their children to having sex to, yes, interacting with animals. But Zak was interested in seeing whether animals, too, saw an increase in oxytocin production during certain interactions.

He went to an animal refuge in Arkansas, where a young male terrier and a young male goat regularly enjoyed playing with one another. Blood samples were taken from both animals, before and after 15 minutes of play. Zak found that after playing together, the dog’s oxytocin increased 48%—meaning that, as Zak puts it, “the dog was quite attached to the goat,” and thought of him as a “friend.” But the goat’s oxytocin increased an incredible 210%, showing that “the goat might have been in love with the dog,” Zak says, as that’s what an equivalent surge in a human would likely mean.

What do you think? Have you ever witnessed animals in love?

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Photo credit: Flickr, laram777

157 comments

Christine Jones
Christine J.about a year ago

Interesting. I always thought they could love, but being "in love" is something different.

Carrie-Anne Brown
Carrie-Anne Brownabout a year ago

thanks for sharing :)

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompson1 years ago

Love makes the world go round. Scientists don't know everything.

micheline dm
micheline dm1 years ago

I do not need a scientific proof here.Animals do love unconditionally and show affection what we can not say from humans.They have feelings and emotions.Just remember the dog laying on its owner grave crying every day.The dog going to church where his mom went but died months before.This dog kept going to church at 09am ,in Italy.
Humans are deplorable when love and affection is mentionned.We need to learn from our pets and show kindness as they do.Humans do turn out in wild beast as you can see on TV what happenend in Oekraine shooting down a plane.Look at the sicko's in the Middle East.Did you ever hear something like that by animals.Praise God for these cute and faithful companions.I fall easely in love with my dog!

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe1 years ago

I love this! I always knew animals can love us. So, what's to stop them from loving each other!!

Ashley heffner
Ashley heffner1 years ago

Thanks for posting.

Ashley heffner
Ashley heffner1 years ago

:)

Francesca A-S
Past Member 1 years ago

Interesting study, this is really sweet!

Barbara D.
Past Member 2 years ago

There is no doubt in my mind that one of my kitties, Spud, and Daisy, my new rescue kitten are completely smitten. They spend every moment together and Spud even shares his food with her. Spud's never let anyone even think about coming near his food.

Jennifer Burden
Jennifer Burden2 years ago

awww!