Tree-climbing, seed-spitting goats provide endless entertainment plus benefits

June 5, 2017 7:33 pm Last Updated: June 5, 2017 7:33 pm


Have you ever watched a video or seen a picture of a goat climbing a tree and wondered what on Earth they were doing? Well, according to a recent paper published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, the goats are getting a delicious snack, while at the same time helping to harvest seeds and plant more trees.

Research for the paper was done after experts noticed how goats, particularly in Morocco, would climb argan trees in order to eat the fruit.

(Source: Flickr/Singa Hitam)

The researchers were interested in confirming whether or not goats actually spit out the seeds from the fruit of the argan trees, and the answer was yes.

It has already been studied and confirmed that animals like goats, cows, and deer disperse seeds through their waste, but the findings of this paper show that’s not the only effective way to sow seeds. In fact, dispersal through spitting may even be more beneficial, since goats typically spit out the largest seeds.

Who knew goats could spit seeds?!

(Source: Filckr/aaskew)

In addition to aiding in the replanting of argan trees, the tree-climbing goats are also helping farmers to harvest the valuable seeds from the tops of the trees, which can grow up to 33 feet high.

While some may think this would be a nuisance to farmers, most farmers actually encourage the bizarre tree-climbing behavior. Without the help of an extremely tall ladder, this is the only safe way to gather argan seeds, which are pressed and used to create argan oil.

Take a look at the video below to see how the goats skillfully climb a tree:

(H/T: Discover)