Closer to home, cats and dogs completely differ in how they relate to their environment, particularly when it comes to people. Once social hunters, dogs desperately need to be part of a pack and will do anything to stay with their owners, even if mistreated. On the other hand, cats, which are independent hunters, are fairly unsocial and rather indifferent to humans.
"Your dog will never reject you, and it is brilliant at reading all of your behavior," he said.
A dog would waste no time begging for food from a person who could not see them, as an experiment by a Hungarian team of researchers showed. Given a choice between two people sitting on a park bench holding out liver-sausage sandwiches, the dogs in the experiment always chose the person who could see them over the one whose eyes were looking away, he said.
A similar experiment on chimps, however, showed they were as likely to beg from humans with buckets over their heads or blindfolds over their eyes as those looking straight at them, he said.
"Dogs have been living with humans, some say for as long as a hundred thousand years," Wynne said. "Reading human minds is not something that you do by being closely related to human beings. It's something that you do by spending thousands of generations hanging out with human beings and learning what humans are up to."