Goats plant new trees

 

Photo credit: Treehugger

CC BY 4.0 H Garrido/EBD-CSIC

How tree-climbing goats plant new trees

melissa-breyer.jpg.50x50_q70_crop-smart

by Melissa Breyer

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/fee.1488/full

If you’re a goat enthusiast it’s probable that you already know of the curiously awesome phenomena of Morocco’s tree-climbing goats – and anyone who has never seen this wonderful weirdness before, should. It’s such an unlikely scenario, these decidedly hooved land animals perched atop branches like dainty birds.

Goats are fabulous and incredibly agile – and in arid places with little forage, they will climb straight to the top of trees to chomp away on what may be the only available greenery around. Likewise, when they’ve gobbled up all the fallen fruit from the ground, the hungry things will march right up the tree to find some more.

It’s a sight to behold, for sure, but beyond entertaining masses of YouTube viewers, tree-climbing goats provide another important service as well – they are agents of seed dispersal for the trees they climb. In the case of Moroccan goats, argan trees.

Read the full story : Treehugger

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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