Feeds

Sheep like happy, smiley people: official

More cutting-edge scientific research

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Continuing our occassional series looking at how cutting-edge scientific research is changing our world for the better, we have unearthed the astounding fact that sheep prefer looking at happy people.

Yup, according to a Cambridge University research team, your ovines like nothing better than a big cheesy grin. Naturally, they find angry people rather unsettling, which is presumably why there were no sheep participating in last night's post-England-match rioting in Croydon and Birmingham.

We can thank neuroscientist Dr Keith Kendrick for this insight into the deeper workings of the woolly mind. His team has already determined that sheep can differentiate between 50 sheep individuals, so Kendrick "thought perhaps they could recognise emotions which are much more subtle".

And the result?: "It turns out they can, both human, smiling versus angry; and sheep, stressed versus calm," explains Kendrick.

The sheep guinea pigs were presented with two doors through which they could get their noses into the trough: one displaying a happy human or sheepish face and the other a rather aggressive bloke or a stressed out sheep. "They vastly preferred to press the smiling human or the animal that has just had a meal and is feeling all right with life," said Kendrick.

The Nobel prize jury should at this point note that this research may give insights into "autism, schizophrenia and a rare disorder called prosopagnosis which leaves the sufferer unable to recognise faces".

Which leaves us at Vulture Central concerned that we may be suffering from prosopagnosis, since we couldn't tell whether or not a sheep was angry just by staring it in the face - even if it were throwing pint glasses at riot police.

We suspect, however, that French sheep all look very, very happy this morning. ®

Related stories

Ducks have regional accents: official
Mach 0.3 milk float goes for land speed glory
UK's RAF planned WMD delivery via 'pigeons of death'
Universe very big: official

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.