Not only do dogs, higher primates, African elephants and horses understand pointing, but research now shows that so too can goats. Goats, of course, are usually associated with their gluttonous eating habits rather than their brain power! At a goat sanctuary in Kent, scientists conducted research by placing two buckets apart, one empty and one containing food, in front of the experimenter. When pointing to the full bucket, more that half the goats from the herd would approach the full one. This was further challenged when the experimenter sat in front of the empty bucket whilst pointing to the full one. The results were similar. This indicates that the goats are able to ‘generalise’ the gesture.
Of course further research would be needed due to the relatively small number of goats involved.
Reported recently in The Guardian