The Goats Who Stare at Men

Are goats trying to tell us something? Christian Nawroth, who researches animal cognition at Queen Mary University of London, has completed a study that suggests goats can use visual cues — like looking at you, then an obstacle, then back to you — to communicate with humans. However, he notes, a goat staring at you may just happen to be looking where you happen to be standing, so in conclusion, goats tend to act like goats. More mind-expanding revelations at NPR.


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35 thoughts on “The Goats Who Stare at Men

  1. Gigi_the cat lady July 8, 2016 / 3:12 pm

    Bravo on finding a way to finally got to use that headline Mike!

  2. Faye July 8, 2016 / 3:14 pm

    They make such a nice couple. Really.

    • Murray C. July 8, 2016 / 4:17 pm

      Awwww, they do. And both are rather pleasant to look at.

      • AB July 8, 2016 / 10:27 pm

        They have the same smile, too. They could be on one of those “people who looks like their pets” lists.

  3. allein July 8, 2016 / 3:18 pm

    I like the ones in the background watching them. They’re probably gossiping.

    “That guy’s such a suckup.”

  4. dubravkamcvmd July 8, 2016 / 3:18 pm

    So goats look to humans for help, like yesterday’s racoon? And they do make a nice couple, Faye.

  5. Catwhisperer July 8, 2016 / 3:36 pm

    “If you’re surrounded by goats who are kind of enjoying themselves, it might affect humans in a positive, stress-relieving way.” I’m going to suggest this to HR as a staff morale booster, and see what happens.

  6. Smartypants July 8, 2016 / 3:44 pm

    The guy has such a kind face. Goat is like “He understands me.”

    Mike, I can just imagine some of the other headlines you have in reserve!

  7. Shan July 8, 2016 / 4:07 pm

    My parents neighbors had goats, cuties, but their eyes freak me out. Dashes? –

    • Murray C. July 8, 2016 / 4:19 pm

      And we have dots! Put us all together in various configurations and you have Morse Code!

      And will someone fill me in about the headline, please???

      • SAA1451 July 8, 2016 / 4:29 pm

        At one point, long ago, there was a government project to increase ESP, in which the participants stared at goats to try to get a reaction.
        This was made famous in the George Clooney movie “Men who stare at goats”

        • Phred's Mom July 8, 2016 / 4:51 pm

          Just read this article. “Debleated”?!?!?!?!
          Yikes! The U S Army used “debleated ” goats
          in this experiment?!?!?!?!!

        • Murray C. July 8, 2016 / 6:25 pm

          Thank you, SAA1451.☺️

        • Gigi_the cat lady July 8, 2016 / 7:40 pm

          It was nice of you to look up and post the info but did you have to start with long ago?
          It was in the 1970’s not the 1870’s. ⁉️😩 LOL!

          • SAA1451 July 8, 2016 / 8:18 pm

            I truly apologize.

            I was doing some online shopping recently, and noticed a number of things that I currently own (and bought new) listed as “vintage.”

            Any insult as a result of the lazy phrasing was purely unintentional.

            • Gigi_the cat lady July 8, 2016 / 8:56 pm

              Oh sweetie, I was just kidding I didn’t think you would take it seriously!

          • Murray C. July 8, 2016 / 8:38 pm

            😂Know how you feel, GiGi. I had a young friend ask me – when I was in my 20’s mind you – what “era” I was born in. I spat out “The ’40’s.”

            • Birdcage July 9, 2016 / 8:52 am

              I was born in the disco era then.

              • Murray C. July 9, 2016 / 10:27 am


  8. SAA1451 July 8, 2016 / 4:19 pm

    So I had to look up why goats’ eyes look like that…and found the following article. It touches on pupil shape for all land animals.
    (I love this site because it teaches me so much. I am thankful to NTMTOM as well as all of the other members of our community for their fascinating insights and willingness to share information; Oh yeah, and the cute animals too…)

    • Murray C. July 8, 2016 / 4:25 pm

      Nice. And good photos, too – the baby tiger is pretty darned adorable.

      • Claire July 8, 2016 / 10:53 pm

        That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing. I love our future octopod overlords =)

  9. Liz July 8, 2016 / 4:25 pm

    “…a huge MAXIMUM SECURITY backyard, and more than one goat.”

    Fixed that for you, Chris.

    Goats are always looking for trouble. Or pasta. Or maybe a scratch. Probably all three…

  10. Sumo-Mermaid July 8, 2016 / 5:04 pm

    NTMTOM, why didn’t you say this study was at the Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats…!?! I’d go there on vacation in a heartbeat!

  11. Phred's Mom July 8, 2016 / 7:51 pm

    Long ago, in the 1970’s, Gigi, I had friends who had goats.
    If you sat, put up both legs straight out, feet together, the
    older one, Daisy, would run to you and butt your soles
    for fun. She never knocked you down, just butted.
    She would come when called, showed me goats are
    smarter than I’d thought.

    • SAA1451 July 8, 2016 / 8:28 pm


    • allein July 8, 2016 / 8:35 pm

      Long ago, in the 1970s…I was born. :-}

      • Murray C. July 8, 2016 / 8:43 pm

        You must be vintage. I’m antique.☺️

        • allein July 8, 2016 / 8:52 pm


    • Gigi the cat lady July 8, 2016 / 11:15 pm

      Long ago in the 70’s I was out of High School and started dating my future husband.

      • Faye July 9, 2016 / 5:22 am

        Long ago in the 1970s I was starting college. I’m definitely vintage, approaching antique.

        My best friends were born in 1980s.

        • Phred's Mom July 9, 2016 / 6:16 am

          Long ago, in the 70’s, I was in my 30’s.
          Got you all beat. Hah!

          • Murray C. July 9, 2016 / 10:42 am

            Me, too, tho’ later ’70’s was when I turned 30. So, at what age do we become “venerable”? 😜

          • Faye July 9, 2016 / 11:11 am

            Seniority can work in your favor!

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