A new study shows that horses rely on both the eyes and the ears of fellow horses in order to understand where their attention is directed.
Horses were presented with a life-sized photograph of a horse that was pointing toward one of two buckets full of food. They tended to choose the bucket toward which the other horse was pointing, but when that horse’s eyes or ears were covered, they chose the bucket at random.
While riders have long known that horses use their ears to communicate, this is the first evidence of how it’s used in horse-to-horse communication.
Original research paper published in the journal Current Biology on August 4, 2014.
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