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

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.