Monday, 4 July 2016

Pigs communicate ‘personality’ through grunts, study finds

JUNE 30, 2016

by Chuck Bednar

While they may not exactly be speaking Pig Latin, new research indicates that members of the Suidae family of even-toed ungulates can reveal important information about their personalities and their overall welfare through the grunts they use to communicate.

Published in the latest edition of the journal Royal Society Open Science, the new study was led by researchers at the University of Lincoln and Queens University Belfast, and also found a link between the rate of a pig’s vocalizations and the quality of its living conditions.

As lead author Mary Friel, a PhD student at Queen's University Belfast, explained Wednesday in a statement, “The aim of this research was to investigate what factors affect vocalizations in pigs so that we can better understand what information they convey.”

“Understanding how the vocalizations of pigs' relate to their personality will also help animal behaviorists and welfare experts have a clearer picture of the impact those personalities have on communication, and thus its role in the evolution of social behavior and group dynamics in social species,” she added.

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