Wild kangaroos tend to be left-handed when performing routine tasks such as feeding and grooming, a recent study claims. The researchers reached their conclusion based on their observation of many wild species of animals.
Russian scientists from St. Petersburg State University observed that wild kangaroos naturally used their left hands to perform common tasks, including picking up leaves. “According to a special-assessment scale of handedness adopted for primates, kangaroos pulled down the highest grades,” research leader Yegor Malashichev said in a statement. “We observed a remarkable consistency in responses across bipedal species in that they all prefer to use the left, not the right, hand.”
However, a few other marsupials did not show the same trend. For example, red-necked wallabies prefer to use their left hands for fine manipulation and right hands for tasks that involve greater physical strength, Discovery News reported.
The researchers conducted their study at various locations in Australia, including Tasmania. The Russian team collaborated with Janeane Ingram, a wildlife ecologist at the University of Tasmania, to conduct the study.
"Unfortunately, even my own colleagues think that studying left-handed macropods is not a serious issue, but any study that proves true handedness in another bipedal species contributes to the study of brain symmetry and mammalian evolution," Ingram told the BBC.
Previously, it was thought that favoring one hand over the other was common only in primates. However, the latest study seems to have discarded the previous thoughts.
The complete study findings have been published in the journal Current Biology.