The men who stare at goats - London boffins make farmyard breakthrough

09:01 20 June 2012

Help: Volunteers tend animals at Wellgate Farm

Help: Volunteers tend animals at Wellgate Farm

Archant

Mother goats can remember their kids’ voices more than a year after they have been separated, boffins at a London university have found.

Researchers recorded calls made by five-week-old pygmy goats and played them back to their mothers.

The mother goats were able to recognise their individual kids’ calls after as long as 12 to 18 months.

Study leader Dr Elodie Briefer, from Queen Mary, University of London, said: “Because of the difficulties involved in following the same individuals over years, long-term recognition has been studied in only a few species.

“Our study shows that animals remember socially important partners.”

The research is reported in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Long-term recognition of social partners helps to maintain relationships in species that live in groups, said the scientists.

This could be especially important in animals experiencing long separation periods through migration or hibernation, or that live in complex societies such as goats.

Dr Alan McElligott, also from Queen Mary, said: “Understanding the cognitive capacities of our domestic animals is important for animal welfare and providing the best possible living conditions, particularly if they have such long memories.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Friday, February 12, 2016
Undated handout file photo issued by the Crown Prosecution Service of Tarik Hassane, one of the men accused of plotting to use a moped in a series of Islamic State-inspired drive-by shootings in London, who has dramatically changed his plea. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday February 12, 2016. The first defendant, Tarik Hassane, 22, admitted conspiracy to murder and preparation of terrorist acts as the defence was about to start in the Old Bailey trial. See PA story COURTS Terror. Photo credit should read: Crown Prosecution Service/PA Wire

NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

A 22-year-old accused of planning to use a moped in a series of Islamic State-inspired drive-by shootings in London has dramatically changed his plea at the Old Bailey today.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Read more
Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport