IMPACT

Sheep Can Recognise Human Faces, Study Shows

The sheep were trained to recognise Barack Obama and "Harry Potter" actress Emma Watson.

09/11/2017 14:24 SAST | Updated 09/11/2017 14:24 SAST
Robert Pratta / Reuters

A new study shows that sheep have the ability to recognise human faces from photographs on computer screens.

The Cambridge University study published on November 8 also shows that sheep can recognise the faces of their human handlers without any prior training.

It had been known for some time that sheep can recognise familiar faces of other sheep and of humans.

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The researchers say this study of the ability of sheep to recognise faces may be useful in research into Huntington's disease and other human brain disorders that affect mental processing.

Lead scientist Professor Jenny Morton says sheep have advanced face-recognition abilities, comparable to those of humans and monkeys.

Among the faces they were trained to recognise were Barack Obama and "Harry Potter" actress Emma Watson.

The research was published in the "Royal Society: Open Science" journal.

News24