How horses recognise each other
When the sound did not match the image, the horses looked at the speaker faster and longer. What they heard was not what they expected to hear.
The results suggest that horses, like humans, use a ‘cross-modal’ system for recognition. In this system, different senses - in this case sight and hearing - are used in order to recognise others.
Recognising other members of the same species is a complex process that still poses a lot of questions. The researchers hope that this test can also be used in other species to find out more about this fascinating process.
The results of the test are published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America”.