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Wasp has built-in Facebook

Like humans, an insect may have a special gift for learning faces

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9:56am, August 2, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A wasp may be the first invertebrate shown to have a special talent for learning faces of its own kind.

Like people, Polistes fuscatus wasps can tell apart individuals from their species. It turns out that these wasps are especially good at recognizing faces compared with other objects, Michael Sheehan of the University of Michigan reported July 28 at the Behavior 2011 conference.

“To my knowledge, no other insect has yet been shown to have such specialized face learning for individual recognition,” said evolutionary biologist Emilie Snell-Rood of the University of Minnesota. Studying how individuals of any species recognize e

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