Wasps use face-recognition brain cells to identify each other

A paper wasp hanging off a goldenrod bloom

Shutterstock / Paul Reeves Photography

Researchers have pinpointed the cluster of cells in wasp brains that allows them to distinguish the faces of their wasp peers. These neurons seem to be strikingly similar to face-recognition cells in the brains of primates, including humans.

“We have this convergent evolution between these really, really distant species,” says Michael Sheehan at Cornell University in New York. He and his colleagues studied northern paper wasps (Polistes fuscatus), which each have subtly unique colour markings on their faces. They are known to…

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