Wednesday, 22 January 2020 12:43

Cow talk

Written by  Milking It

Cows do talk, researchers say.

A new study shows that cows communicate using unique voices, which remain consistent across a range of emotional circumstances.

Alexandra Green, a PhD student at the University of Sydney’s School of Life and Environmental Sciences, headed to a free-range farm on the university’s campus, equipped with headphones and a shotgun mic.

In total, Green and her colleagues recorded 333 high-frequency vocalisations from 13 heifers, none of which had been pregnant.

The calls were collected during a number of different situations, like when the cows were in heat and when they were anticipating a tasty meal, which the researchers identified as “positive” contexts.

Calls were also collected when the animals were denied food: physically isolated from the herd, and when they were both physically and visually isolated from the rest of the herd, which researchers identified as “negative” contexts.

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