8 Amazing Ways Sheep Are Smarter Than You Thought

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lambsPhoto: bonguri

When people think of animals, stereotypes immediately come to mind. We automatically categorize chimps and dolphins as being one of the smartest animals on earth. Most of us know that elephants possess exemplary memory. We think pigs are filthy and lack social skills (which is far from the truth, actually). Owls must be wise because of their appearance. Those crows are devilish and cunning, right? And, don’t forget sheep. They are pretty stupid, some of the dumbest animals on earth. Hold on and read further and see if you agree later on.

sheep brownPhoto: cone_dmn

1. Sheep Brains Are More Similar To Humans’ Than Once Thought

Pigs have often been used in clinical studies to mimic genetic and chromosomal disorders because they are more like humans than mice. As wonderful as pigs are for the advancement of medicine and treatments for diseases, sheep can actually lend a much more useful application when it comes to diseases that specifically affect the brain, like Huntington’s Disease. This is because their basal ganglia and cerebral cortex (both in the back and base of the brain) is very similar to the human brain.

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sheepPhoto: Andrei!

2. Sheep Have An Extraordinary Intellect And Ability To Shift Attention

Because sheep brains possess many similarities to the human brain, their frontal cortex is relatively developed. When studies were done on sheep to see whether or not they could learn complex new sets of tasks, even as the rules kept changing frequently, the sheep adapted.

Rats and other small animals weren’t able to fulfil these complex tasks in numerous studies.

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