March 30, 2021

Up until quite recently, animal behavior experts believed that what people, (and especially ‘pet parents’), see as a smile in their beloved, was little more than a conditioned reflex. But with new studies, more and more forward thinking researchers beg to disagree.

Humans pull many facial expressions… happy, sad, excited… to name a few. These are in part considered ‘windows to the soul’. In honest form these involuntary micro movements reflect the state of one’s brain and one’s being. Included is the “smile”. Smiles hold much social importance, and it is a smile that ushers in one of the first levels of comfort (or not) that we feel with other individuals.

With many animals… and this includes those that are non-traditional pets… new theories support that turned up corners of the mouth actually may signal expressions of joy and happiness. A true smile.

And likewise, it is suggested that all primary and some secondary emotions are experienced and facially expressed by animals. This includes jealousy, sadness, embarrassment and anger. I think it must be agreed that we have, for too long, underestimated the intelligence and the emotional range of many animals.

On that note, my question is: What expression do you think this goat is showing?

a) excitement

b) happiness

c) joy

d) all of the above

Answer: (d) Definitely all of the above!!!