Did You Know Kangaroos are Left Handed?

Humans are not the lone species who prefer handedness when dealing with actions. If your thoughts are now inclined towards the primates, you would only be partly right. Yes indeed, primates are not ambidextrous, they do exhibit laterality with their hands. But besides, it’s the species of kangaroos, that have now been proven to be left handed.

Scientists have discovered that the large jumping marsupial prefers their left hand, or precisely left-paws, to perform actions. It’s not that the entire population of Kangaroos is left-sided, but a majority of them were found to be left-handed ones.

This conclusion was reached after the scientists took up hours of study in kangaroo activities like grazing, grooming  and the like, at the Bonorong Wildlife Park. Most of them used their left paws for currying, resting and rarely were the kangaroos spotted resting on dual-paws.

Janeane Ingram, a wildlife ecologist at the University of Tasmania explains that left handedness gets its birth out of the dominance of either of the hemispheres of brain over the other. With kangaroos, it seems to be the case of a right-dominated brain. Physical-strained works are often carried out with the action of right-paws, but actions that demand finer skills get worked out by their left paws.

Unlike left handedness, laterality is not something that has been constrained to the higher species of mammals. Species like horses have been found to be exhibiting laterality with greater extent along with the course of their life. However, that doesn’t involve handedness and are limited to organs like eyes and nostrils.

For over these years, we believed handedness to be unique with higher ranked mammals including us. Quadruped animals were erased from this list due to their dependence on all their limbs for movement. With kangaroos, scientists have now found a rare discovery of handedness in the lower ranked mammals.

Kangaroos, unlike other animals, make use of only two paws for motion. That sure explains the lean towards handedness. Previously, researchers analyzed handedness among the red-necked wallaby population back in 2012. But the handedness was exhibited only when they used two limbs for movement, and was absent when the animal moved on four limbs.

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