Sunday, February 19, 2012

Goat kids can develop 'accents'

Pygmy goats can develop "accents" as they grow older, according to scientists.
The young animals, known as "kids", are raised in groups or "creches" with goats of a similar age.
Researchers found that when young goats mixed in these social groups their calls became more similar.
The animals join an elite group of mammals known to adapt a vocal sound in response to the environment that includes humans, bats and whales.
Dr Elodie Briefer and Dr Alan McElligott from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at the University of London, UK published their results in the journal Animal Behaviour.
In order to test the goats' vocal repertoire they recorded calls at one-week-old and again when they were aged five weeks.

"Five weeks corresponds to the time when, in the wild, they join their social group after spending some time hidden in vegetation to avoid predators," Dr Briefer explained.
"We found that genetically-related kids produced similar calls... but the calls of kids raised in the same social groups were also similar to each other, and became more similar as the kids grew older."
"This suggests that goat kids modify their calls according to their social surroundings, developing similar 'accents'."
Read on and hear calls:

No comments:

Post a Comment