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Nature & Environment

Sheep are capable of recognizing human faces

By T.K. Randall
November 8, 2017 · Comment icon 8 comments



It turns out that a sheep can recognize your face. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 George Gastin
A new study has revealed that, like humans, the humble sheep has the ability to recognize a familiar face.
The peculiar discovery was made by researchers at Cambridge University who had trained eight of the animals to recognize the faces of celebrities like Emma Watson and President Barack Obama.

The process involved having each animal pick from a selection of two faces by breaking an infrared beam. If they selected the correct (familiar) face they were rewarded with some food.

The researchers found that the sheep were able to identify the celebrity faces more often than not.
"What we did is ask whether a sheep could learn to recognize someone from a photograph," said study lead author Professor Jenny Morton. "We focused on whether or not an animal was capable of processing a two-dimensional object as a person."

The results indicated that sheep possess similar facial recognition abilities to apes and humans.

It is hoped that the findings could help scientists learn more about neurodegenerative diseases.

Source: BBC News | Comments (8)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Piney 5 years ago
Cows,goats and horses can too. 
Comment icon #2 Posted by fred_mc 5 years ago
Since we humans can't recognize sheep faces I guess this makes sheep smarter than humans.
Comment icon #3 Posted by The Russian Hare 5 years ago
Now I understand computers/phones that can recognize faces. There are sheep inside of them.
Comment icon #4 Posted by _KB_ 5 years ago
Well i can recognize dog faces... I've memorized every dog in a 10 block radius as a car game... now I've only got to do the same for humans on my block and i'll know all my neighbors
Comment icon #5 Posted by Anonymous12321 5 years ago
I think with this website I have found my people.
Comment icon #6 Posted by UFOwatcher 5 years ago
Sheep says, "that is the guy"...
Comment icon #7 Posted by Aardvark-DK 5 years ago
Hm, that study had to be done in Wales....
Comment icon #8 Posted by third_eye 5 years ago
Yup ... Alfred P Doolittle ... 'Moralist' ~   [00.12:31] ~


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