file command to get more information about the file. Mine for example is a PNG:
livewire@ZS00:~$ file .face
.face: PNG image, 96 x 96, 8-bit/color RGB, non-interlaced
This particular file is used in Ubuntu as a resource for your avatar/user picture. You can either replace it with an image directly (JPEG and PNG should work, square geometry preferred, not to large in size) or use the default user and groups managing menu of the various Ubuntu versions. 11.10 and 11.04 are documented:
It's strange that the file is owned by root, this shouldn't be the case and usually if you don't have set a picture this file does not exist. Please use the afore mentioned file command on the file. I assume that it's just a picture and if I recall correctly the 11.10 installer already invoked an attached camera during installation to give you the opportunity to take a photo of yourself and use that as an avatar. So chances are high it's just a picture of you. It might just be a bug that the file is owned by root.