4 October 1999
Older sheep varieties are brightest

BRAINS of old breeds of sheep are up to 18% bigger than their modern counterparts, claims Dr June Morris, a biologist at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Among the brightest sheep she has found are the North Ronaldsay island breed from the most northerly of the Orkneys, where they eat seaweed for its high mineral content.

Dr Morris has got a lot of respect for the brains of sheep generally.

She insists that many sheep are intelligent enough to open house doors with their teeth and untie knots on gates

They will also respond to their name and resist being pushed about by sheep dogs.