Study Finds That Goats Like It When People Smile at Them, and Our Hearts Can’t Take It
Just in case you need another reason to love goats.
It's hard to look at a goofy little goat and not smile, and apparently, goats feel the same way about us!
As we venture back out into the world, into petting zoos, farms, and perhaps even to goat yoga, here's a delightful piece of information for you to keep in mind: goats like it when you smile at them.
According to the results of a British study published in Royal Society Open Science back in 2018, goats not only recognize happy human facial expressions, they're actually drawn to them.
In the study, researchers presented 20 goats with photos of unfamiliar human faces. The photo pairs showed the same individual displaying happy and angry facial expressions.
They found that the goats were much more likely to interact with images of happy faces. The animals looked at the smiling images, approached them, and even explored them with their snouts.
How sweet is that?
As researchers from the Queen Mary University of London explained in a news release, evidence that goats can read human expressions flies in the face of the long-held assumption that only domestic companions—such as dogs and horses—have the ability to perceive human facial cues.
"The study has important implications for how we interact with livestock and other species, because the abilities of animals to perceive human emotions might be widespread and not just limited to pets."
It also has important implications for our hearts.