In facial-recognition tests, the animals picked images of familiar faces over pictures of strangers
Emma Watson, Jake Gyllenhaal, journalist Fiona Bruce and Barack Obama all walk into a sheep pen. No, this isn’t the beginning of a baaa-d joke.
By training sheep using pictures of these celebrities, researchers from the University of Cambridge discovered that the animals are able to recognize familiar faces from 2-D images. Given a choice, the sheep picked the familiar celebrity’s face over an unfamiliar face the majority of the time, the researchers report November 8 in Royal Society Open Science.
Even when a celeb’s face was slightly tilted rather than face-on, the sheep still picked the image more often than not. That means the sheep were not just memorizing images, demonstrating for the first time that sheep have advanced face-recognition capabilities similar to those of humans and other primates, say