Not only do pygmy goats have accents, but they tend to pick up the characteristic "BAAAAAAAAAAA" of the locals bleating around them.
Scientists already knew that bats, whales and, of course, humans tend to pick up the vocal mannerisms they're surrounded by. Now, researchers at Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at the University of London have added goats to the list. They published their work in journal Animal Behavior.
They tested the goats when they were five weeks old, because that's when they become social. They found goats that hung out together started to sound the same, and they became more alike as they grew older. The scientists think the evolutionary benefit might be that different accents help the animals identify strangers.
They also say the findings could lead to better understand of how humans became verbal beings. And maybe it explains how Bristolian and Welsh accents can be so different and entertaining. [Scientific American via NPR]
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