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 Nervous sheep calmed by 'loved ones'
UKScifi Logo BRITISH scientists have found a seemingly unlikely way to soothe anxious sheep - by showing them photographs of other sheep.

Much as humans find a picture of loved ones a reassuring item to carry in their wallet, the sight of a friendly face appears to lower stress levels in sheep, London's Daily Telegraph newspaper said.

Scientists in Cambridge placed individual sheep in a darkened barn and measured their stress levels, based on signs such as heart rate, blood samples and bleating.

When the animals were shown the faces of other sheep, they had fewer signs of agitation than when they saw goat faces or images of triangles, the report said, citing findings in a publication by British science organisation the Royal Society.

"In this sense, sheep may provide a comparison with us carrying around pictures of our loved ones in our wallets, handbags and so on," said Professor Keith Kendrick, who led the study.

Kendrick also found that sheep can remember the faces of at least 50 other sheep, even in profile, the newspaper added.
Posted by Z Tuesday, March 31, 2009 (20:57:00)
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