Sunday, January 21, 2007

sheep story of thinking

how a sheep decided to jump over a ditch
I once saw a sheep that was at the wrong side of a fence. I stopped and thought how I could help it get to the other side. While I was thinking, the sheep seemed to realize I was a threat and suddenly panicked and jumped over the ditch all hooves in the air spread in four directions thus getting at the other side of the fence. I was surprised. It seemed this sheep thought before it panicked, and then decided to act upon it. The thinking process took quite some time.
Was this sheep thinking? Did it decide I was a threat? Did it then decide she should act upon her fear? This all seemed to be the case.

4 comments:

Awesome Mom said...

Actually the sheep probably froze, hoping that you would miss seeing it and go away. You then quite probably made a sudden slight movement which startled the sheep and that is when it decided to run. Sheep are very instinctual creatures and not very bright. Also they have hooves not paws. I am a biology nerd so that is how am so learned in things animal. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Odile S said...

Ah, mistakes are alowed for Dutch people, no? Thanks for stopping at mine. Maybe I made a sudden moove. I thought I was staring at her. Being instinctive. Does that mean that they only react on impulse? Or that if they think they have a very slow reaction pattern. (is there any EEG research for sheep reading Shakespeare? Probably not)

Awesome Mom said...

Of course mistakes are allowed for you, after all you know a lot more languages than I do, so that has to count for something.

By staring at the sheep you are acting like a predator. Making eye contact is actually very threatening to prey animals. Quite frankly sheep are not know for much thinking. Most domesticated food animals are not bred for smarts but meat so brains are not very necessary. If you were to dissect the brain of a sheep you would not find much of a frontal cortex which is where deep thinking happens in humans.

Odile S said...

Haha, I have actually been thinking about this yesterday when clearing the table and today on my bicycle. Thanks for continuing the conversation. Oops, now I will have to reread Biological Psychology... Or better yet...'On Intelligence'? (I did not read that one), did you?
But it has a little bit of cortex, you say. Maybe they are thinking /learning at very low speed and cannot act upon this in a sofisticated way?

*new* item at Chez Odile is the metachat where Creatives and Thinkers meet.

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