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Goats can detect subtle emotional changes in the calls of other goats when they're getting upset, a new study suggests.
Researchers led by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) measured behavioural and physiological changes in goats.
Emotion - Call - Likeliness - Goats - Source
They found that when the emotion of a call changed, the likeliness of the goats to look towards the source of the sound increased.
This suggests that they can distinguish the emotional content of calls of another goat, experts say.
Scientists - Discovery - Implications - Animals - Livestock
Scientists say the discovery has important implications for how domestic animals, particularly livestock species, are cared for.
The study was carried out in collaboration with the University of Roehampton, ETH Zurich and University of Turin.
Goats - Heart-rate - Calls - Calls
It also showed that the goats' heart-rate went up when positive calls were played compared to when negative calls were played.
These results provide the first strong evidence that goats are not only able to distinguish call variants based on the emotion that they convey, but also that their own emotions are potentially affected, researchers say.
Importance - Communication - Emotions - Animals - Luigi
'Despite its evolutionary importance, social communication of emotions in non-human animals is still not well understood,' said Luigi Baciadonna, lead author of the study...
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