Smile at Goats. Science Says They Like It.

Photo Credit: Pxhere

Want to make friends with a goat? Start by giving one your most winning smile. They recognize a friendly face when they see one.

A paper published in Royal Society Open Science says like humans, goats are drawn to smiling faces.

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London wrangled 20 goats (12 males and 8 females) at the Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats, located in Kent in the United Kingdom.

Photo Credit: Flickr

The goats were herded into a pen. In the pen were black and white photos of different smiling or angry human faces.

The goats appeared attracted to the smiling faces, even touching these photos with their noses.

Interestingly, the smiling faces on the right side of the pen got the most goat attention. This may indicate goats process pleasant emotions with the left sides of their brains.

Photo Credit: Pxhere

Other animals can read the emotions of people just as well. In 2015, another study showed dogs reading which photos contained happy expressions by just seeing the top halves of the faces.

Until the goat study, this ability to recognize smiles was thought to be limited to pets.

Although this was a small study with goats used to human interaction, it does show the way to a goat’s heart – with a smile and apple slices!