Sheep are smart enough to make ‘executive decisions’

Saturday, February 12, 2011

LONDON - Unlike previously thought, sheep are actually so smart that they make ‘executive decisions’, have long memories and can remember friends for two years.

University of Cambridge researchers have said that sheep can remember faces, be they other sheep or human, and can recall faces when looking at photographs.

According to New Scientist, sheep can also pass psychological tests that monkeys would fail, reports the Daily Mail.

Laura Avanzo and Jennifer Morton, who were studying neurodegeneration with a focus on Huntingdon’s disease, an inherited disorder that leads to nerve damage and dementia, stumbled on their findings quite by chance.

As part of their research they studied a new breed of genetically modified sheep that carry a detective gene that causes Huntingdon’s in people.he scientists placed pairs of different coloured buckets in front of them; with one containing food each time. They then switched the food from bucket to bucket, while also alternating the colours and, eventually, changing the shapes of the buckets.

The sheep learnt to recognise different patterns in colours and changed their behaviour according to the pattern they were looking at. They also altered their behaviour based on the various shapes placed in front of them.

“Sheep live in a flock, and in a flock they’re rather silly. When you work with them as individuals, they behave very differently,” said Morton. (ANI)

Filed under: Science and Technology

will not be displayed