Question: Dear Dustin A while ago, a few sheep in one place learned to walk across grids, a little wile later in another place some more sheep learned to walk across grids which they had never done before. They had no connection, how do you think this happend? Thanks, twright1

  1. Hi twright,

    I guess you are talking about cattle grids. The things farmers use to stop cattle wandering out of the fields.

    There is a lot of evidence that shows animals are probably much smarter than we used to think. Animals can certainly learn and remember things, maybe not like us, but they can learn.

    So what you are describing is probably a case of where some sheep, for some reason, learnt to get across a cattle grid. Once they had done it once, they may have remembered and did it again with other animals following them, as that is what sheep do.

    The other group of sheep, probably just stumbled on the same idea about how to get across cattle grids. It doesn’t seem likely that they would have set a letter to one another, as it would be hard to hold a pencil with their hooves.

    Animal learning like this has been seen in orcas. Some pods have learnt how to feed on seals, while other pods hunt other animals. It is information passed down from parent to child within the group. It is a very interesting area of study that is starting make some headway.