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Goats "have accents"

Goats are like humans and dolphins in their ability to develop unique accents, according to new research.

Image: ozmafan via Creative Commons/Flickr

YOU COULD BE forgiven for thinking that all goats sound the same – if you give the subject any thought at all – but you would be wrong.

While goats don’t have their own language, they do apparently have speech skills.

According to new research, goats have shown the ability to learn a range of sounds and modify their vocal noises depending on their surroundings.

The team from Queen Mary University of London observed that goats’ “accents” changed when they moved in different groups – proving that the sound of their voices is not entirely genetic, the Telegraph reports.

It was previously believed that only a select group of animals, including elephants, dolphins and humans, were able to discern and replicate accent differences.

Dr Elodie Briefer, who led the study, said:

We found that genetically related kids produced similar calls, which is not that surprising – 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 their social surroundings, developing similar ‘accents’.

So, bearing all that in mind, we can only presume that this goat has been hanging out with people too much.

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