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Sheep Can Recognize Barack Obama, And That May End Up Saving Human Lives

ABC News

Sheep are not as directionless and dumb as they seem.

As one of the earliest domesticated animals, sheep were raised for their fleece, meat, and milk. But now they might be able to help us with something else...

A new study published by Cambridge University showed that sheep have the ability to recognize human faces from photographs on computer screens.

They can also recognize the faces of their human owners without any form of training. This puts their facial recognition skills on par with humans.  

That's why when sheep were trained to recognize famous faces like Barack Obama and Emma Watson, they succeeded 80% of the time.

The sheep were able to recognize the Harry Potter actress 8 out of 10 times. PetaPixel

But this research wasn't just to prove that sheep are smarter than we thought, this study could better some people's lives...

Experts say sheep are useful models to better understand brain disorders, such as Huntington's disease, which is a neurological condition that affects an individual's cognitive abilities over a long span of time.

"Our study gives us another way to monitor how these abilities change, particularly in sheep who carry the gene mutation that causes Huntington’s disease," Professor Jenny Morton said in a statement.

Here's Cambridge University's video explaining their findings. You'll see how the sheep receive an award when they choose the correct photograph.

According to Morton, her team has begun studying sheep that have been genetically modified to carry the mutated gene that causes Huntington's disease.

Did you know sheep have such great facial recognition memory?

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at