Feeling emotions and being able to read them on someone else’s face is no longer a prerogative of human beings. Truth be told, it never did, but a new study reveals that even animals can show empathy and be able to interpret the emotions of others. These are not “traditional” animals, such as dogs or cats, but goats. Yep, it seems goats are able to recognize human facial expressions, much preferring those that are smiley and friendly
image credit: Flickr / Tambako The Jaguar
Goats are attracted to happy people. This is the result of research conducted at the Queen Mary University of London. The study would confirm one of the cutest things you’ve ever heard: everyone can be won over by a smile, even animals. This opens up new avenues for understanding the emotional lives of our four-legged friends, especially goats.
The study claims that goats can react to humans in various ways – with fear, hostility or indifference, etc. – but that they are certainly more attracted to the human being displaying a beautiful smile .
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The experiment was carried out on a sample of goats from Kant, Britain, and involved hanging two black and white photos about 1.3 meters apart, on a wall in the test area. A goat that could move freely was then introduced. During the experiment, the goats got closer to the photos of smiling faces, showing how much they preferred humans with a nice smile to the faces of angry people.
These cute animals, therefore, seem perfectly capable of “reading” human facial expressions, demonstrating that it is not only humans who have this important ability.
source used: Queen Mary University of London