Happy Hog … Or Sad Hog? Just Listen to Figure It Out, Study Says

Mar 16, 2022

How do you tell how a pig’s feeling? 

Just listen to the sounds it makes, scientists say. They're using extra-juiceartificial intelligence (AI) to figure out what pigs feel.

The researchers say a code analyzed more than 7,400 sounds. The sounds came from 411 pigs. The team placed the animals in positive and negative situations. Positives included being with their mothers and family and running. Negative ones included fights and being handled roughly. 

The pigs in positive situations made shorter sounds. They had only minor changes in how loud. Negative situations led to longer squeals. The sounds were also at higher frequencies

Not much is known about animal emotions. Most animal welfare tracking focuses on their physical health. That's done, for example, through cameras. 

But experts know that the mental health of livestock is important. It's part of their health. The new study suggests that systems could be created to help farmers keep track of their animals’ mental health.    

One of the study's co-authors says the study “is an important step towards improved animal welfare ...” 

Photo from kallerna courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

How does the introductory sentence contribute to the overall organization of the story? (Common Core RI.5.5; RI.6.5)
a. It provides the reader with an unrelated question before introducing the main topic.
b. It provides the reader with an opportunity to connect their personal experiences to the subject matter discussed in the story.
c. It provides helpful definitions of important terms later used in the story.
d. It introduces the main question that supports the research provided in the story.
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