Researchers Discover Wasps Have Learned To Recognize Faces

Researchers Found One Species Of Wasps Have Evolved To Recognize Faces Among Peers

January 28, 2020


Wasps are already pretty scary, but researchers have discovered a new trait that makes them straight up terrifying. Researchers at Cornell University discovered a species of wasps have evolved to be able to recognize faces. They found the wasps increasing intelligence gave them the ability to recognize faces among their peers.

The research team at Cornell University studied Northern paper wasp, Polistes fuscatus, to learn their evolution of cognition. Using population genomics, researchers found “the most intense selection pressures in the recent history of these wasps has not been dealing with climate, catching food or parasites but getting better at dealing with each other.” This is extremely rare among insects.

“That’s pretty profound,” said Michael Sheehan, professor of neurobiology and behavior, and senior author on the paper. According to the research this is seen in insects In communal groups with a single queen, when roles are clear and defined. With this new trait, humans can only hope these wasps don’t evolve the ability to recognize human faces.