Goats Have Accents: Study

Goats' 'voices' not entirely genetic, change over time, scientists say
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2012 9:51 AM CST

(Newser) – It turns out accents aren't just for people from Long Island: Goats have them as well, a team of British researchers has demonstrated. Until now, experts had assumed that goats' "voices" were dictated entirely by genetics. Genetics do play a role, the researchers found, as siblings had similar calls. "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," lead author Dr. Elodie Briefer tells the Telegraph.

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That suggests that goats modify their voices based on their environments, just like humans do. And it might not just be goats. Asked if other mammals might have accents as well, Briefer says it's possible. "We don't know, because people are so sure there's no effect of the environment that no one has checked." (Read more goats stories.)

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