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Have you ever wondered why when you see someone yawn it prompts you to do the same? Especially if you are not tired.

The average adult yawns 20 times per day, and you’re probably yawning right now. When you feel a yawn coming on, it can be nearly impossible to suppress. But why does being around other yawners make you yawn?

According to PBS NewsHour they asked a speech scientist, a sleep neurologist, a neuroethicist and a neuroscientist who studies brain circuits related to itching why yawns are contagious. They said the evolutionary value of collective yawning remains unknown, but may have something to do with the desire of an animal to protect the members of its tribe.

There is no scientific consensus on why we yawn.

One theory argues that when humans are tired, we stop taking deep breaths, which causes a build-up of carbon dioxide in the body, said Douglas Parham, a speech scientist at Wichita State University. A yawn might be a special kind of respiration, Parham said. It builds up oxygen quickly, while expelling carbon dioxide, even more than a deep breath.

Excess carbon dioxide and other chemical changes, such as a drop in oxygen or increase in a compound called adenosine, could also act as “yawn gates,” said James Giordano, a neuroethicist and neuroscientist at Georgetown University. These chemicals send out a signal that triggers a yawn. By yawning, we compress the muscles of the face, driving oxygen-enriched blood to the brain, Giordano said.

Other proposals state the purpose of yawning is to cool the brain, or to stretch internal organs like tissues and lungs, helping the body to liven up.

It’s not just humans that yawn. Yes! Animals yawn as well. Because the brain stem of humans is similar to other mammals (and birds and reptiles too), it makes sense that most animals yawn. birds, reptiles, mammals and some sharks can yawn — and animals with bigger brains tend to yawn longer.

Tiger yawning

So why is yawning so contagious?

What is known is that the behavior is contagious. The likelihood of yawning increases sixfold, according to a study from Springer Link an online academic and research database,  after seeing someone else yawn.

As for yawn contagion, Giordano said it may be related to a phenomenon called social mirroring, where organisms imitate the actions of others. Other behaviors fall into this category, such as scratching, leg crossing and laughing.

This behavior could be linked to mirror neurons in the brain.

13 Disney Pet Items Every Pet Owner Needs For The Holidays

Disneyland Resort is your one stop shop for everything that you could need in life. From themed Minnie ears, colorful spirit jerseys, to your favorite Disney character plushes, there is an abundance of Disney themed items that you can shop for.

One store you must check out the next time that you’re in Downtown Disney is the Disney Home store. Located in between WonderGround Gallery and Sprinkles this corner gem has cooking wear, home decor and the most adorable pet items. The front of the store appears very cutesy but push your way to the back to find all of the hot items every home owner is in search of. Disney has a pet line called Disney Tails that keeps your pet up-to-date for the latest Disney pet accessories.

The pet items cover a good portion of the backroom and we are about to unpack what you should be looking for. We noticed that Disney has done a great job at carrying different size products to fit more animals. Not every item listed will have a different size but a Disney worker should be able to assist you with any further accommodations.

Mickey themed dog collars, pull toys, squeak toy sets, leads and more are flying off of the shelves. Do you have the black and white dog bone pet feeding mat? The Minnie Mouse pet bowl could look adorable on any kitchen floor for your pet to drink out of.

The red, white and black theme fits perfect with the holiday theme or year round. One item we are adding to our watch list is the comfort harness. There is nothing that screams “my dog is also a Disney fan” then this. The holiday cheer stuffed animal pet toys are essential for this time of year. The three toys are shaped into holidays baked goods including: Gingerbread Mickey, a blue Mickey head ice cream and a Mickey head shaped cookie with frosting. This is a purchase you and your pet will enjoy.

Since the holiday times are here spoil your pet the way you would want to be spoiled!

  • Disney Tails - Pet Comfort Harness

    Disney Pet Items

  • Disney Tails - Pet Feeding Mat

    Disney Pet Items

  • Disney Tails - Pet Bowl

    Disney Pet Items

  • Pet Tails Pull Toy

    Disney Pet Items

  • Disney Tails - Relax and Recharge Dog Bed

    Disney Pet Items

  • Disney Tails - Comfort Harness

    Disney Pet Items

  • Disney Tails - Pet T-Shirt

    Disney Pet Items

  • Pet Tails - Squeak Toy Set

    Disney Pet Items

  • Disney Tails - Encanto Pet Collar

    Disney Pet Items

  • Disney Tails - Lead

    Disney Pet Items

  • Disney Tails - Minnie Dog Collar

    Disney Pet Items

  • Disney Tails - Baby Yoda Dog Bed

    Disney Pet Items