Can anyone explain why this vital discovery has taken so long? Bearsy? Boadicea? Apart from those who actually box kangaroos in circuses and fairs, is it relevant to the rest of us? I can understand the researchers from St Petersburg State University wishing to visit Australia to escape a Russian winter, but couldn’t they have found something else to research? The water carrying capacity of camels perhaps?
14 thoughts on “Southpaw kangaroos”
A real conundrum, eh? Or don’t they have those down-under?
Being more than slightly obsessed with kangaroos I found this very interesting. Supposedly this was done to help better understand the correlation of handedness and neuro-disorders. Don’t ask me why.
Perhaps they could come and investigate one of my dogs. The girl JR is left pawed like me and the two boys are right pawed like spousal unit. One wonders if they copied us?
I do think the whole thing is curious considering most animals are right handed so to speak. I would like to know if other marsupials are similar and one wonders if the Coriolis effect is at work as they are the only major group of animals to have evolved in the southern hemisphere.
Most mammals I gather are right handed and like humans about ten percent are left.
So one wonders if 10% of kangaroos are right handed?
I rather like curious facts about our world, far better than hearing about the Kardashian arse spreading further. I;m waiting for the announcement that they are going to use it to block the nearest black hole.
No, not that hole, the space one!)
J, I think you get arrested for conundrums South of Tristan da Cunha! Considered deviant.
I have just checked and without doubt our cat is ambidextrous. I always knew that she was one in a million, well one in a hundred is a good start.
p.s. I forgot to mention how I checked for ambidexterity in our cat. Well, according to the scientists if you can write equally well with both hands you are ambidextrous.
Interestingly the report reckoned that about 95% of kangaroos are southpaws, Christina.
Isn’t it like bathwater going down the other way round?
Sheona, apart from the primates, it seems that kangaroos are the only animals that favour one hand or another as a species. This might indicate some similarities between primate and kangaroo brains. Who knows where any research into this might lead?
FEEG not sure that is true, ie primates only. I was under the impression that some quadrupeds exhibit handedness/hoofiness/pawyness too.
Sheona interesting that 5% aren’t left handed, very similar to the reverse proportions in humans.
The more I think about this the more interesting it becomes. Marsupials developed in the absence of other species because they were set adrift by early excision of the continent of Australia into an island, and the only detached habitable one in the Southern hemisphere. There are marsupials in South America but very different species. One wonders if any of them are left handed?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but handedness in humans is controlled by the brain. Normally left brain hemisphere controls right side of body and vice versa. Left handers have a bit of a wiring problem so to speak but as wires are crossed, tend to be a bit more creative. (An aside, many problems in humans are wiring problems such as dyslexia, you can get past them but have to use different routes from the rest of humanity.)
If handedness is controlled by the brain, why should that be affected by the Coriolis effect?
(Jolly well might explain Australians though!!!!)
All very curious and as a research project more worthy than most of throwing a few bob that way! Could just reveal some very interesting things about the brain. (And why we don’t use them!)
Christina, many individual quadrupeds show a preference for one side, but In general I think that on average, no other species shows a preference on average across the species.
Interesting FEEG, Obviously an area where not too much is known except casual observation for the most part. I wonder if Nia dog has learnt it from me, if I favour her left paw so to speak. When I shake hands with her I stick out my left hand and it easier to cross over so she puts out her left paw. She always watches TV with me, sits to my right and puts her left paw on my leg. Even holds her bonio in her left paw against the other leg for vertical gnawing. I blame sheona! Now I shall have to sit and study her for weeks!
Where is my research grant!
But Gazoopi, have you ever actually provided your cat with paper and pencil?
Christina, being more of a cat person myself, I take no reponsibility for your dog’s actions. But I realise that I normally cuddle a cat, like a baby, holding it in my left arm so that it’s the front right paw that is freer to move.
Sheona, yes I just tried it and she writes equally well with all four paws. 🙂