Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Bees can recognize human faces, study finds

`The researchers, with Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, tried to train the bees to realize that a photo of one man had a drop of a sugary liquid next to it. Different photos came with a drop of bitter liquid instead.

A few bees apparently failed to realize that they should pay attention to the photos at all. But five bees learned to fly toward the photo horizontally in such a way that they could get a good look at it, Dyer reported. In fact, these bees tended to hover a few centimeters in front of the image for a while before deciding where to land.

The bees learned to distinguish the correct face from the wrong one with better than 80 percent accuracy, even when the faces were similar, and regardless of where the photos were placed, the researchers found. Also, just like humans, the bees performed worse when the faces were flipped upside-down.’

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