Sheep recognize faces of celebrities

Actual Headline: Sheep Recognize Obama

The group of celebrities the sheep were trained to recognise included actors Emma Watson and Jake Gyllenhaal, BBC newsreader Fiona Bruce and Mr Obama.

The animals' success rate fell by around 15 per cent when presented with the faces at a new angle, an amount researchers said was comparable to that seen when humans perform the task.

Along with dogs and monkeys, sheep are social animals that can recognize other sheep as well as familiar people, the study authors explained.

"These data show that sheep have advanced face-recognition abilities, comparable with those of humans and non-human primates", claims the study, published today in Royal Society Open Science.

If you ever find yourself in the company of sheep, don't be surprised if they seem to recognize you.

Even when a celeb's face was slightly tilted rather than face-on, the sheep still picked the image more often than not. These faces were put up on screens and the sheep were rewarded with food for picking the photograph of the correct celebrity displayed in a pen. In this test, sheep correctly chose the learned face eight times out of 10.

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For eight years, the company has been developing the technology and doing test runs on public roads across 20 U.S. cities. The company also wasn't available to comment on whether Waymo employees will be able to remotely terminate a ride.

"We focused on whether or not an animal was capable of processing a two-dimensional object as a person", Morton added.

The team got success after few days of tutelage of sheep at the Cambridge University in England, where at least 8 sheep could recognize Obama by his picture. "This current study adds an interesting new ability to the surprising wide repertoire of behaviour of sheep".

"This ability has previously been shown only in humans", the scientists write.

The study feeds into ongoing research on treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's, in which face perception can be impaired.

"Sheep are long-lived and have brains that are similar in size and complexity to those of some monkeys". This convinced the researchers that sheep had face-recognition abilities similar to ours.

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