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Do Animals Recognize Faces?

There is evidence that some types of animals can recognize faces, although the circumstances and the level of visual perception might vary. Sheep have been proved to be able to recognize human faces as well as the faces of other sheep. In recent years, evidence that domesticated animals are able to recognize faces of humans with whom they interact on a regular basis has become more common. There also is evidence that some species of birds are capable of facial recognition, especially when it comes to humans who threaten the birds in some manner.

More facts about facial recognition and animals:

  • A study conducted at the University of Washington indicated that American crows who felt threatened in some manner would remember the faces of those humans long after the threatening incidents occurred.

  • Experiments also indicate that the northern mockingbird and the black-billed magpie also remember the faces of humans who threaten their nests, even after a significant amount of time has passed.

  • Along with house pets, other domesticated animals are known to recognize human faces. Animals such as chickens, horses and rabbits display signs of facial recognition. In addition, animals that are kept in a zoo or an aquarium, such as penguins and octopuses, also demonstrate the ability to recognize faces.

Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
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Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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