Cross-modal recognition of familiar conspecifics in goats
This article by Benjamin Pitcher and co-authored by AWRN members Alan McElligott and Luigi Baciadonna, describes their study examining whether goats (Capra hircus) possess cross-modal representations (auditory–visual) of conspecifics. They presented subjects with recorded conspecific calls broadcast equidistant between two individuals, one of which was the caller. They found that, when presented with a stablemate and another herd member, goats looked towards the caller sooner and for longer than the non-caller, regardless of caller identity. By contrast, when choosing between two herd members, other than their stablemate, goats did not show a preference to look towards the caller. They concluded that goats show cross-modal recognition of close social partners, but not of less familiar herd members and that goats may employ inferential reasoning when identifying conspecifics, potentially facilitating individual identification based on incomplete information.
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This article was also reported in Science click here to view