Sheep are now able to recognise people from two-dimensional images alongside humans and monkeys. Research was conducted using eight sheep, which were familiarised with pictures of four celebrities associated with treats. The pictures of the celebrities were shown in pairs. Eight times out of ten, the sheep correctly associated the correct celebrities with treats, by breaking an infrared beam to select the celebrity.
To test that the sheep can identify people and not just pictures, they were also shown different angles of the same celebrities, with the sheep recognising the celebrities at the different angles more than half of the time. They also tested this ability by substituting some pictures of the celebrities with pictures of handlers who gave the sheep treats outside of the experiment. Seven times out of ten, the sheep chose the picture of the handlers.
While the sheep did do double takes when the pictures of the handlers were shown before choosing them, the researchers say the tests should allow them to monitor the deterioration in sheep with huntington’s. They also hope the test will be beneficial to humans in the future.