Do yawns really catch?

Professor Hallux investigates!

Why is it when someone else yawns it makes me yawn too?

Yawning is very common amongst all animals – hippos, dogs and even snakes yawn! It happens when you’re feeling tired – a muscle deep inside your ear called the TENSOR TYMPANI contracts.

That’s what causes the rumbling sound that only you can hear.

There are lots of theories about why we yawn…

Before we could talk, humans had to find ways to communicate with each other. Yawning may have been a signal that someone was tired, and if the signal was repeated by others, then they would know that they all needed to take a break.

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It isn’t the only theory – some scientists think it’s a way to get some cool air into our heads so that our brains don’t overheat!

Whatever the reason, it’s not at all bad to have a good yawn – it’s a good reminder to take a break or to get some rest.

You can hear Hallux’s More Physiology Fix-Up weekdays from 6pm on Fun Kids!

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Professor Hallux’s More Physiology Fix-Up, with support from The Physiological Society!

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