ReutersLONDON (Reuters) — Sheep have been trained to recognize the faces of celebrities, including former U.S. President Barack Obama, by University of Cambridge scientists who hope it may help with understanding neurodegenerative diseases.
In a specially equipped pen, sheep were shown pictures of people on two computer screens. On one side would be an unknown person and on the other would be one of four celebrities.
The animal would receive a reward of food for choosing the photograph of the celebrity by breaking an infrared beam near the screen displaying it. If they chose the wrong photograph, a buzzer would sound and they would receive no reward.
The sheep eventually managed to identify the familiar face eight times out of every 10.
The group of celebrities the sheep were trained to recognize included actors Emma Watson and Jake Gyllenhaal, BBC newsreader Fiona Bruce and Obama.
“We’ve shown that sheep have advanced face-recognition abilities, comparable with those of humans and monkeys,” Prof. Jenny Morton, who led the study, said in a statement.