Face Time: Bees can tell apart human portraits

12:20pm, November 30, 2005

Honeybees will learn to zoom up to particular human faces in a version of a facial-recognition test used for people, researchers say.

Previous studies of bee vision failed to show that the insects could distinguish such subtle patterns, says Adrian Dyer of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. The new evidence suggests that face recognition doesn't require a big brain, he and his colleagues propose in the Dec. 15 Journal of Experimental Biology.

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