Though we're used to characters in our movies having accents (see: Babe — yeah, that was a good one), most of us don't consider it much in living creatures. Vocal prowess and everything that comes with it seems like a human thing, but it turns out that goats have accents the same way Englishmen (et. al.) do.
Researchers at Queen Mary University of London discovered that kids (baby goats, not human children) make "goat calls" with similar structures to those in their social group, but only after a few weeks of time spent in their presence.
Researchers checked on the kids at one week old and at five weeks old, and noticed a disparity in their calls. At five weeks, the calls were far more similar to those of its social group, the same way a child raised in England will probably have different speech patterns from one raised in Louisiana.
"Our results support the growing and controversial evidence that social context plays a role in shaping vocal communication systems," the researchers wrote. "Such surprising plasticity could be present in most mammals, but has gone undetected."
Studies such as this can teach us more about the evolution of vocal communication, especially in humans. Information is sparse at the moment, to say the least.
And, anyway, it makes for pretty good small talk at parties.