So if a sheep goes to University
Does it study for a BAA?
A Cambridge Uni prof has provocatively suggested that sheep aren't actually as thick as a Fair Isle woollen sweater, and can match humans in the tricky task of identifying food amid a confusion of buckets. Neuroboffin Jenny Morton herded a flock of Welsh mountain sheep and presented them with variously-coloured buckets, only …
Collies do have a natural ability to learn stuff. However they're basically the Rain Men of the dog world - neurotic, obsessive, fixated on routine and usually fixated on individuals too. A collie's idea of play is to be told (by a human, ideally their owner) to do something. Perfect for a working dog, but not ideal for a pet.
From one point of view, this could be an example of David Brin's "uplift". In practise it's a bit more like the mental equivalent of a bulldog's snout - it's a bred characteristic that's within the genetic range of the species, but you only get there by trading off other aspects of the species with a result that isn't entirely positive for the dog.
Yes, there are pawprints on my doormat.
I could pretty much teach any animal to do this... people have already done it with the likes of goldfish. Stupid "2 second memory" bollocks, people that spout it probably have less.
(any fish owner will know that fish know when its feeding time anyway)
Anyway, day to day sheep are pretty dim still :p
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