Where and Why Sheep Split Up

To know why certain sheep cling to each other while others split off on their own, a person would need to know the size of the group, and also something about the personalities of the individual sheep. Scientists at the Macaulay Institute in Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, sought this very knowledge when they looked at the loiterings of sheep.

Pablo Michelena, Angela Sibbald, Hans Erhard, and James McLeod (the names of the scientists, not the sheep) wrote up their study, Effects of Group Size and Personality on Social Foraging: The Distribution of Sheep Across Patches….

So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.