Paris: Goats can distinguish smiling human faces from frowning ones on photos, and actively seek out snapshots of happier individuals, a study said Wednesday.
Shown two pictures of the same person — one with a happy expression and the other angry — 20 domesticated goats in an experiment were more likely to approach the smiling image and touch it with their snout, said researchers from Europe and Brazil.
“Goats looked and interacted on average 1.4 seconds with the happy faces and 0.9 seconds with the angry faces,” study co-author Christian Nawroth of the Queen Mary University of London told AFP.
“That means that goats spend approximately 50 percent more time to look and interact with happy images compared to angry ones.”
The study, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, claims to provide the first evidence of goats reading human emotional expression.
The findings suggested “livestock species have very sophisticated minds to interpret their environment,” said Nawroth, and “likely adapt their behaviour” based on human facial expressions. —AFP/APP