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Nature’s Olympics – Goat Gymnasts

goat-gymnasts

The Tamri goats can climb 9 m (30 ft) up to the treetops.

No kidding – the goats of Tamri village in Morocco show great agility in searching for their favourite food. These nimble nibblers claw, jump, and scramble up argan trees to reach their beloved berries, setting in motion a practice that’s been around for centuries. Argan berries are a good source of income in this otherwise barren land. Goats gorge on them and pass the hard nuts in their droppings. Locals collect the poo before removing and washing the nuts. These are ground and pressed to make expensive argan oil, used in salad dressings and cosmetic treatments.

Fast Facts

Goats are good climbers because of their cloven hoofs. The two sides push apart to grip a surface. The hoof has a soft inner part that aids grip, while the animal’s dewclaws help provide stability.

Intrepid Ibex

In 2010 a herd of Alpine ibex walked across the nearly vertical face of Italy’s Cingino Dam. Despite the 50-m (164-ft) drop beneath them, the agile ibex searched for a snack – salt and lichen between the dam’s stones.

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