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How Tree-Climbing Goats Plant New Trees

It is an undeniable fact that goats in the middle of trees are an awesome sight; however, the good thing is that they are also fantastic dispersers of seeds as well.

Read more: Trees are vital. Stay updated on our mission to plant 1 billion trees

In case you happen to be enthusiastic regarding goats, probably you have heard of the awesome phenomena of the tree-climbing goats of Morocco, and anybody who did not have the opportunity of seeing this incredible weirdness previously, should. It is actually an unlikely situation where these creatures are perched on top of trees just like birds.

For what reason are the Moroccan goats in the habit of climbing trees?

Goats happen to be extremely agile creatures who will not mind climbing to the top of trees, particularly in arid regions without much forage, for consuming what might the only available foliage be around. In a similar manner, they will also climb trees for finding something more once they have consumed all the fruits that have fallen on the ground.

It will be undoubtedly a great sight; however, apart from providing lots of entertainment for the YouTube viewers, these types of goats likewise provide another essential service. They help in the dispersal of seeds for the trees where they are climbing. These trees happen to be argan trees when it comes to Moroccan goats.

How tree-climbing goats help in the dispersal of seeds

We are all aware of the fact that animals are in the habit of consuming fruits and then depositing the seeds somewhere else which they carry in their stomachs for some time. However, it has been found by a new study that another mechanism functions as well. It has not been researched that much at present.

The seeds are spit out by the goats after ruminating.

The primary intention of the research was to find this out which was motivated by the comprehension that it would be really difficult to excrete such big seeds. According to the authors, their purpose for researching was to confirm that the nuts of argan fruits were regurgitated by the animals while ruminating. They assumed that this might be a potential mechanism for dispersing large seeds.

The study likewise notes that they are not the only spitters of seeds. They had observed sheep in southern Spain, fallow deer and captive red deer, likewise spitting out seeds while ruminating, and although Yamashita described Brazilian parrots accumulating palm seeds in locations where cows had assembled and ruminating at night, they didn’t take into consideration the consequences of dispersal of seeds.

As suggested by the researchers, in case the spitting of seeds is prevalent amongst ruminants, its ecological consequence might be significant.

The study also concludes that it might not be possible for the seeds of certain species to survive while passing through the lower digestive tract of the ruminant such that spitting from the cud might represent their primary and only mechanism of dispersal. Therefore, it is vital to explore the effectiveness of this disregarded seed dispersal mechanism in different systems and habitats.

This is definitely one more way of asserting that the researchers would like to enjoy watching goats climbing trees once again, right?

Read more: As the largest plants on the planet, they provide us with oxygen,  store carbon, stabilize the soil and give life to the world’s wildlife. Learn  about why trees are important in our ebook. Receive it today!

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