by Rachel Alexander | October 18, 2015 2:03 pm
This is so adorable it looks fake, but it’s not. North African goats are drawing attention all over the world for their incredible ability to climb trees many feet into the air to obtain the argan fruit. Many look like they are about to fall off, they are so precarious and large compared to the tree and its branches. 
The Daily Mail reports,
Instead of waiting for the berries to fall on the ground, the goats scale the 16ft tree in herds and pick the olive-like fruit from the branches.
The Tamri are aided by their cloven feet. Each hoof has two toes which can spread out, providing balance and leverage, while the soles of their feet are soft and yielding, helping them to grip the bark.
The animals also have two vestigial toes higher up their legs, called dewclaws. These are found on many species — including cats and dogs. But the goats’ dewclaws are much firmer and stubbier and help the creatures pull themselves up branches, or lower themselves down sheer cliff faces.
The shape of the trees, with their low branches, also helps. It is a simple business for goats to step from one branch to another — scrabbling up the tree as easily as if it were a flight of stairs.
And by the standards of the Tamri, nine goats in a single tree is comparatively modest. It’s not uncommon to see as many as 16 occupying every fork, branch and twig of an argan tree, sometimes clambering on to branches as high up as 30ft.
At heart, they are herd animals. Where one goat climbs, the others follow. Once one Tamri tires of balancing on his branch, down they all skip, one after the other.
After the goats have feasted on the fruit, and digested the thick bitter peel and sweet pulp, they leave behind the hard nuts in their droppings.
It’s a win-win for both the goats and the natives, who collect the hard nuts and remove the kernels to produce oil which is considered valuable. It is used for dipping bread, flavoring couscous and in salad dressings. It is also used for beauty purposes such as softening wrinkles. Unfortunately, environmental activists are starting to protest that the goats are unfairly not letting the fruit ripen naturally and fall to the ground. Let’s hope these busybodies, who have no motivation other than what they personally believe is “natural” should happen, do not succeed. There is nothing more “natural” than goats eating fruit. Watch the adorable guys below, happily peering into the camera.
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