Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mother goats do not forget their kids

Date:
June 19, 2012
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
Mother goats remember the calls of their kids for up to 11-17 months, scientists have found.

Mother goats do not forget the sound of their kids' voices, even a year after they have been weaned and separated.
Credit: © under_g / Fotolia

Mother goats do not forget the sound of their kids' voices, even a year after they have been weaned and separated, according to scientists from Queen Mary, University of London.

Related Articles


Writing in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Dr Elodie Briefer and Dr Alan McElligott from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences (and Monica Padilla de la Torre at the University of Nottingham) found that mother goats remember the calls of their kids for up to 11-17 months (7-13 months after weaning).

In most species, parents and their offspring mainly use vocalisations to recognise each other at long distances. The team studied nine pygmy goat mothers and their kids between 2009 and 2011. They recorded the kid calls at five weeks old and played the calls back to the mothers 12-18 months later.

They found that the mother goats were not only able to recognise their individual kids' calls at five weeks, but still remembered them at least one year after weaning. This suggests that even after kids are separated from their mother, the memory remains and mothers can still differentiate their kids' calls from the calls of other animals' offspring.

Dr Briefer explains: "Because of the difficulties involved in following the same individuals over years, long-term recognition has been studied in only a few species. Our study shows that animals remember socially important partners.

This behaviour could help mother goats and their daughters to maintain social relationships, and could also prevent mother goats mating with their sons, when those are sexually mature.

Long-term recognition of social partners helps to maintain social relationships in group living species. This could be particularly important in species that experience long periods of separation, like migration or hibernation, or that live in complex societies, like goats.

Dr McElligott adds: "Understanding the cognitive capacities of our domestic animals is important for animal welfare and providing the best possible living conditions, particularly if they have such long memories."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen Mary, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. E. F. Briefer, M. Padilla de la Torre, A. G. McElligott. Mother goats do not forget their kids' calls. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2012; DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2012.0986

Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "Mother goats do not forget their kids." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120619225936.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2012, June 19). Mother goats do not forget their kids. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120619225936.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "Mother goats do not forget their kids." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120619225936.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

Newsy (Mar. 29, 2015) — A 508-million-year-old arthropod that swam in the Cambrian seas is thought to share a common ancestor with spiders and scorpions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

AFP (Mar. 29, 2015) — Vietnam&apos;s drive to become the world&apos;s leading rice exporter is pushing farmers in the fertile Mekong Delta to the brink, say experts, with mounting costs to the environment. Duration: 02:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — A lioness in Pakistan has given birth to five cubs, twice the usual size of a litter. Queen gave birth to two other cubs just nine months ago. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins